There’s no question that the Toronto Blue Jays have struggled with injuries this season. Before several of their key hitters went down with injuries they were hovering at the .500 mark, just a few games out of the wild card race in the American League. But the biggest blow came when superstar Jose Bautista went down with a wrist injury, and the Jays have been in a tailspin ever since. Given the recent success of their rivals in the American League, one of the popular MLB Rumors floating around is the possible trade of Jose Bautista. But does a Jose Bautista trade make sense for the Toronto Blue Jays?
In order for the Jays to have a chance in 2013 they’ll need a healthy Jose Bautista. Since Bautista went down with his wrist injury on July 16th, the Jays have gone 15-25, which prorated over a full season would make them the second worst team in the majors. He’s an integral part of the offence, and the team simply doesn’t have enough depth in the lineup to make up for his absence for any extended period of time.
Since 2010, Bautista has hit 271/400/593 along with a major league leading 124 homers and 292 RBI. However, it’s important to remember that coming off wrist surgery it’s possible that Bautista may not be at full strength entering the 2013 season. Typically it takes longer than a year for a hitter to recover from any significant wrist injury, and given how much Bautista relies on his wrists in order to hit for power it’s a legitimate question if he’ll be able to put up his superstar calibre numbers for the start of next season. And if Bautista isn’t capable of being a dominant force in the lineup, the Jays might not have enough firepower to make the playoffs.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Bautista, a trade might make a lot of sense for the Jays. They protect themselves against any potential decline in Bautista’s production in the event that his wrist doesn’t heal by the start of the 2013 season and they can continue to build for the future. This isn’t considered a strong free agent class, and given that the Jays have to upgrade their rotation, left field, designated hitter and second base it’s not likely that they’ll be ready to compete with their rivals in the American League East. There’s no point in wasting Bautista’s prime, and if the Blue Jays can’t get in the playoffs with one of the best hitters in the game then they would be best served moving him for a group of elite prospects.