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Toronto Blue Jays

Heyman | Will the Blue Jays trade their big stars?

Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire

The Toronto Blue Jays may need to take a good hard look at things, as they don’t appear to be playing like a contender. And they haven’t been all year. Might be time to back up the truck – though rivals who deal with them doubt they are prepared to do that.

Here’s what one rival says about the likelihood they’d trade Josh Donaldson, Marcus Stroman and J.A. Happ: “If they do that, they’re giving up the next five years.”

While the new Jays regime got long contracts, they also know that the fans have shown up in droves for their big-name core (which may be why they signed Jose Bautista when no one thought they wanted him back), and won’t necessarily come for a complete rebuild. Of course, while Donaldson hasn’t been the same since returning (and had a day off Wednesday), they could get a haul if they’d consider trading him. And if they traded Donaldson, maybe they really should consider trading others.

“If they’d trade Donaldson, they should trade Marcus Stroman, too,” another competitor said.

That may only be wishful thinking, as there’s been no indication they’d consider that (or really much that they’d trade Donaldson, either, to be fair). The other rival says he believes that if the Jays became a seller, they’d instead look to trade Marco Estrada, Kendrys Morales, and perhaps Bautista, and (if someone would take the contract) Troy Tulowitzki.

But of course, they were the high bidder for Morales, Bautista has 10-and-5 rights, and even the Jays connected person says, “No one would take the Tulo contract.” Plus, Estrada didn’t look so great at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, giving up two two-run homers after being staked to an early 5-0 lead.

But for what it’s worth there was a small scouting contingent on hand, mostly just the regulars who live in the New York area (from the Cubs, Astros and a couple other teams). Estrada has been a very good pitcher for the Jays, but teams prefer harder throwers for playoff time.

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