Could Rowdy Tellez be on the trading block this summer?


Toronto Blue Jays currently sit 8.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East and four games from the Wild Card spot. After a convincing series win over the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend, the Blue Jays are heading into the All-Star break with more momentum than fans expected after a tough few weeks the team made the crossings around the beginning of June.

While GM Ross Atkins has already made a trade to bolster the bullpen and bench with the likes of RHP Adam Cimber and OF Corey Dickerson, there’s still an argument to be made that there’s room to improving, especially with the bullpen and maybe at third base.

Any trade for an established pitcher/infielder will cost significant prospect capital, and the Blue Jays are in a strong position when it comes to having prospects who have high potential but can be processed due other high-value prospects in the system.

One player that comes to mind is the first baseman, Rowdy Tellez.

The Toronto Blue Jays will need to bolster the roster if they are to be serious postseason contenders, with potential assets like Rowdy Tellez in AAA who could yield a serious comeback either on their own or as part of a ‘a package.

Enjoying a fan-favorite status similar to former Blue Jays infielder Justin Smoak, Tellez burst onto the big league scene three years ago as a September call-up and produced fantastic results in a short sample. In 23 games, the hard-hitting left-handed hitter reduced .314 / .329 / .614 with nine doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs on 70 at-bats. Since his debut in late 2018, Tellez has racked up a career .241/.301/.458 slash line with 37 homers, 99 RBI and a .759 OPS.

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Tellez has seen his fair share of major league triumphs and struggles, with a demotion to AAA in 2019 and 2021 due to his performances and a fantastic 2020 campaign cut short due to a knee injury he suffered. tripping over the bullpen mound in Buffalo. He is currently with the Buffalo Bisons after being demoted on June 22, reducing .209/.272/.338 to 139 at-bats this season with four home runs and eight RBIs.

Tellez’s clear advantage is the raw power he generates from the left side of the plate, in that any solid contact with the ball can easily see him round the bases and put runs on the board. However, consistency at the palace has been his kryptonite, and with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. performing at first base this year and a quartet of outfielders splitting time between positional play and designated hitter, Tellez wasn’t hitting well enough to stay on. the list.

Ultimately, it looks like Tellez would do better if he received regular playing time, which isn’t expected to happen on the Blue Jays’ current roster. This raises the possibility of potentially suspending him in potential trade scenarios, either by himself or with one or two other prospects to increase value and acquire either a high-value arm (hopefully a starter and not a reliever in this case) or a third legitimate base option.

I could sit here and play chair GM and list a dozen potential trades where no one can agree the value is right, the narrative remains the same: if Tellez doesn’t get regular playing time at the of the big league under the Blue Jays, it makes sense to at least see if there are offers to acquire an established arm or a veteran third baseman who could improve the team to be playoff contenders this season.

What makes Tellez even more valuable than he already is is that he has not yet arbitrated, something he’ll do next season, so the three years in control helps boost his value for any team looking for a left-handed first baseman or power hitter. In a game where contract control is worth its weight in gold, Tellez could yield some serious comeback power. I’m not talking about enough value for, say, a one-for-one Jose Berrios deal, that would be silly, but he could most likely make that deal with one or two prospects (depending on the business scenario).

Don’t get me wrong, I like Rowdy Tellez and I think he’ll have a good career as a first baseman or a designated hitter, and trading him will be a risk in the event that he becomes a player of all precious days in the near future. At this point, however, he’s expendable in that the team has Guerrero Jr. entrenched first and a platoon of options to back him up defensively as well as be the designated hitter. Risks will have to be taken if the Blue Jays are to return to the playoffs, and trading a player like Tellez falls into that category.

While the Blue Jays are serious about wrestling this season, everyone is aware that the front office needs to improve certain areas of the big league club. While Tellez has contract control and potential, he also has business value, and either packed with other prospects or sent on his own, Ross Atkins could improve this squad by trading it for veteran talent if he can. finding the right deal as the season inches towards the trade deadline at the end of this month.


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