The Toronto Blue Jays made a pair of trades on deadline day, to try and improve their injury riddled bullpen the Jays traded OF Travis Snider to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Brad Lincoln and Eric Thames to the Mariners for Steve Delabar.
While some people feel these two deals were necessary to provide needed depth at a weakened position, the position that truly suffers is the starting rotation. While the Jays are over-stocked on OF and Snider and Thames became expendable, Brad Lincoln has struggled since reaching the majors and Delabar is nothing more than an extra arm in the bullpen.
Injuries to Brandon Morrow, Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek and Henderson Alvarez took 4 starters at the top of the rotation out for weeks (Alvarez), months (Morrow) and the rest of the year (Drabek, Hutchison), yet the Blue Jays biggest move was trading some tier 2 prospects to the Astro's for J.A. Happ and others. While Happ is more than a capable starter he is no ace and with the struggles of Ricky Romero and inconsistent play from Aaron Laffey, Brett Cecil and Jesse Chavez the Jays should have been in the market for at least one more starting pitcher.
While Hamel signed in Philly the Jays could have taken a run at a number of other available pitchers like Ryan Dempster, Zach Greinke, Josh Johnson or Matt Garza. While Garza seemed to be the perfect fit for the Jays they seemed to be content on not trading away any prospects even though they shipped 24 year old Travis Snider to the Pirates for a struggling releiver.
While they missed out on the opportunity to land a proven veteran pitcher the Jays did make some additions to their roster that seem to be gutsy moves much like in the past with Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson and Colby Rasmus, however this time it was minor tweaks to the Bullpen and rotation.
While the moves seem to be questionable for a team attempting to contend this year, John Ferrel has been tremendous at getting the best out of his pitchers and under-performers over time and if the Jays are willing to wait til next year the moves may pay off. If Happ and Lincoln can return to solid form then the Jays may have added two key pieces to building a championship team.