MLB Trade Scenarios: 5 Deadline Deals for the Toronto Blue Jays to Pursue

Ramy EljawharyContributor IIJuly 16, 2012

MLB Trade Scenarios: 5 Deadline Deals for the Toronto Blue Jays to Pursue

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    The Toronto Blue Jays have shut down closer Sergio Santos for the remainder of the season, lost Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and Drew Hutchison to injury over a four-game span, and recently announced that Luis Perez will be out for the year with a torn ligament in his left elbow.

    Despite all that, they remain in contention for one of the two wild-card spots in the American League with a 45-44 record.

    Under the guidance GM Alex Anthopoulos , the Jays have done an excellent job building their farm system as they loaded with high-end prospects across their minor league affiliates.

    If they are to make a push for the postseason, they will likely have to include some of their prospects as part of any deal. 

    Here are five players that could be available as the trade deadline approaches.  

Carlos Quentin

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    Set to become a free agent following this season, San Diego Padres’ slugger Carlos Quentin would provide the Blue Jays with another experienced bat and would fit in nicely behind Edwin Encarnacion in the Blue Jays’ lineup. 

    He is familiar with the American League given his time with the Chicago White Sox, which includes a 36 HR and 100 RBI campaign in 2008.  In 118 games last season, he hit .254 with 24 HR and 77 RBI.

    He could put up some big numbers in the hitter friendly Rogers Centre.

    However, he comes with some risk as he missed the first 49 games of this season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on March 19, and has averaged to appear in just 120 games per season over a four-year span.

Justin Upton

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    Sticking with offense, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton could turn a good Jays offense into a great one. 

    Already a two-time All-Star, the 24-year-old is signed through 2015 and is due $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015, making him a relative bargain given his five-tool abilities.

    With J.P Arencibiba, Brett Lawrie, and Colby Rasmus already in place, his addition would provide the Jays with a nucleus of young talent that would be as good as any in all of baseball.

Cole Hamels

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    Cole Hamels has been one of the few bright spots in what has been a miserable year for the Philadelphia Phillies

    With a rotation that also features Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, the Phillies were expected to do more as they were considered the front-runner to win the NL East. 

    However, they currently sit at the bottom of the division, trailing the Washington Nationals by whopping 14 games.

    Despite the return of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to the lineup and the expected return of Roy Halladay to the rotation, the deficit may be too much to overcome in what appears to be a lost season.

    The 28-year-old is set to become a free agent at the end of this season and with much of their core over the age of 30, the Phillies may consider moving the three-time All-Star.

Felix Hernandez

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    The Seattle Mariners are a team on the rise, but are still a few years away from making the jump to compete with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.  

    Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero, and Kyle Seager headline an impressive core of young talent, but would dealing Felix Hernandez for multiple high-ceiling prospects accelerate the Mariners’ growth?

    Already a Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star, the 26-year-old is signed through the 2014 season and is set to earn $19.5 and $20 million over the next two years, which may be a heavy price for a rebuilding team to pay one player. 

Matt Garza

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    The Chicago Cubs are in a rebuilding phase and one player that could net a nice return is Matt Garza.

    He is eligible for arbitration in 2013, and is set to become a free agent in 2014. 

    Although he won’t come cheap, the asking price for the 28-year-old would likely be less than what the Phillies and Mariners would demand for Hamels and Hernandez respectively. 

    He is familiar with the AL East given his time with the Tampa Bay Rays, and holds a career 17-9 record against the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees.