Jose Bautista, Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano Trade Rumors Surface

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 25: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a two-run home run in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium on June 25, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly could be sellers on the trade market and could move outfielder Jose Bautista and starting pitchers Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano, according to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com, as the team has stumbled to a 38-45 record and is currently in last place in the AL East. 

Morosi noted, "Multiple executives around the Major Leagues expect Toronto to be a seller at the 2017 non-waiver Trade Deadline," before adding "Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins has made no public comments acknowledging such plans, but Toronto had the Majors' oldest Opening Day roster this year, and there is little wisdom in retaining an aging core that isn't winning."

As Morosi noted, however, none of those players likely would bring a huge return on the trade market. 

Bautista, 36, is hitting just .236 with 14 homers and 38 RBI. Estrada, 34, is 4-6 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Liriano, 33, is 4-4 with a 5.66 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. 

Morosi speculated, then, that if the Blue Jays want to undergo a full rebuild, they'll need to make players like third baseman Josh Donaldson and starting pitchers Marcus Stroman and J.A. Happ available on the trade market. And Morosi reported that the St. Louis Cardinals are interested in Donaldson, though added that the teams haven't had formal trade talks regarding the 2015 AL MVP.

Certainly, if Donaldson is made available he'd be the crown jewel of the potential trade deadline. The 31-year-old is having his struggles this season, hitting just .238 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 42 games, but he came into the 2017 season with 78 homers and 222 RBI the previous two seasons.

For that reason, it seems more likely the Blue Jays would entertain offers for players like Bautista, Estrada and Liriano before considering a trade for Donaldson.