The Blue Jays are just one game worse off than the Rays. While they're 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees, they're just 2 1/2 games behind the wobbly Orioles, who still are (barely) holding onto the second wild-card spot in the American League.
The standings say the Blue Jays still have a chance. They insist that they still have a chance, and general manager Alex Anthopoulos told sportsnet.ca on Tuesday he still plans to buy rather than sell on this month's trading market.
Two rival scouts who have seen them play recently disagree, and think that Anthopoulos should concentrate his energy this month on selling off some players who could have value on the July market.
"They're not going to win starting Aaron Laffey and Carlos Villanueva and Brett Cecil," one of the scouts said Monday, mentioning three-fifths of the Jays' injury-hit starting rotation.
That scout suggested that the Blue Jays should consider moving Casey Janssen, who is 9 for 9 in save opportunities and has a 1.33 ERA since taking over as closer.
Another rival official said that the Jays are souring on shortstop Yunel Escobar, and suggested he could be on the move to make room for Adeiny Hechevarria. The original plan had been for Escobar to eventually shift to second base, but the thinking now is that the Blue Jays could prefer to move him to another team, instead.
There has already been plenty of speculation that the Blue Jays would deal Edwin Encarnacion, who would generate interest in a July market that is short on quality hitters.
If not for the injury to top prospect Travis d'Arnaud, the Blue Jays would have also been likely to move a catcher this month. d'Arnaud was tearing up the Triple-A Pacific Coast League before he tore a ligament in his knee last week. If he hadn't been hurt, J.P. Arencibia or Jeff Mathis could have been traded to make room for him.