Blue Jays reportedly open to trading Alek Manoah
Posted November 20, 2023 10:40 am.
Last Updated November 20, 2023 10:41 am.
After taking a major step back in 2023, the Toronto Blue Jays are “open to moving” right-handed starter Alek Manoah, rival executives tell The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Coming off a 2022 campaign in which he posted a 2.24 ERA and finished third in AL Cy Young voting, the 25-year-old logged a 5.87 ERA and was sent to minor leagues on two separate occasions — including a season-ending demotion in August — this past season.
Rosenthal does say that how open Toronto is to moving its 2019 first-round pick “remains to be seen,” but adds, “the Jays’ rotation depth is prompting inquiries from other clubs. The team’s need for position players seemingly would make a move possible.”
At the GM Meetings earlier this month, general manager Ross Atkins told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi that Manoah “has earned already the right to have a strong leg up” for one of the spots in the Blue Jays’ rotation.
“And I feel so good about him returning back to the 2021-22 version of himself that I think that’s a really good starting point for him,” Atkins added.
Manoah still has four years of team control remaining, and if the Blue Jays were to deal him, they would be selling low on one of the most valuable currencies in MLB today — young, controllable starting pitching.
Atkins listed some other potential depth options to Davidi when asked what Manaoh had done to earn the leg-up so early into the off-season.
“His body of work, meaning what he’s done over his career,” he said.
“The start to his off-season and his mindset right now are encouraging. As far as other options, Bowden Francis certainly fits as someone we could consider for the rotation, and we’re excited about what Mitch White and Wes Parsons did over the second half of the season in triple-A and glad to have them on our roster.”
Toronto has been connected to the St. Louis Cardinals, who are in desperate need of pitching, in their search for help on the position player side, but it remains to be seen how other teams would value Manoah after his disappointing 2023.
Rosenthal finished his piece by saying, “the best move for the Jays might be betting on Manoah to do the same,” referencing Yusei Kikuchi turning in a career-best season after a disastrous 2022.