The Blue Jays are generating a high volume of interest in righty Aaron Sanchez, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). With “lots of hits” on the 27-year-old, there’s now a “real chance he moves” today via trade.
While Sanchez has long featured as a possible trade candidate, it’s rather surprising to hear of this degree of interest at this stage. Sanchez has dealt with control problems and a variety of finger issues in recent years, changing his once-promising career trajectory.
This year, Sanchez carries an ugly 6.07 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 over 112 2/3 frames. It’s promising to see the innings tally — the highest since his excellent 2016 season — but not much to be encouraged about otherwise. Sanchez’s average fastball velocity is under 94 mph for the first time in his career. He’s still generating swinging strikes at only a 8.7% rate, with a groundball rate (47.0%) well off of his once-lofty levels.
Sanchez did just turn in a ten-strikeout performance in his most recent start, though he also whiffed eleven in a mid-May outing and did not carry that forward. His 27:7 K/BB ratio over the past month is an improvement over his ugly June showing (16:19), but hardly earth-shattering. And Sanchez has actually lost velo of late.
All that being said, there has always been a perception that Sanchez has intriguing stuff. He’s earning $3.9MM this year, which is hardly an unmanageable sum, with another season of arb control remaining. It’s not implausible to imagine that a few creative front offices have ideas on how they can re-mold Sanchez’s raw tools and perhaps turn him into an effective arm. Bumping him into a relief role — he has thrown exclusively as a starter since 2015 — might well be an avenue worth exploring.
It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out over the next few hours. If offers aren’t good enough, the Blue Jays can certainly afford to hang onto Sanchez in hopes that he’ll finally turn the corner, with the idea of carrying him on the roster next year or spinning him off in an offseason trade.