Phillies may finally have a Vince Velasquez trade partner

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports) /

With less than 10 days until Opening Day, the Toronto Blue Jays are in need of pitching, and they just might have a trade partner in the Philadelphia Phillies. Vince Velasquez would be an expendable option if the price is right.

The Blue Jays reportedly have interest in adding to their pitching staff, according to’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, and that either “starters or relievers” would be in play. Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told reporters on Tuesday that while the team likes what they have, the team is  “always open to additions” and want to “revisit that in a more assertive way to not just raise the floor, but potentially raise the ceiling.”

The Phillies could finally have a perfect trade partner for Vince Velasquez.

The recent Blue Jays report comes after their expected No. 2 starter, Robbie Ray, slipped and fell while carrying his child down the stairs — resulting in a bruised elbow (the child is OK). Not to mention, their star free-agent signing, outfielder George Springer, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 oblique strain, while closer Kirby Yates is “most likely” to require Tommy John surgery.

Velasquez would not necessarily raise the “ceiling” for the Blue Jays, but he is versatile in providing experience in both the starting rotation and bullpen. The Phillies need to shed some salary if they wish to stay under the luxury tax, add a few non-roster invitees to their Opening Day roster, and leave some wiggle room spending-wise — so they can still make additional moves during the season without crossing the luxury tax threshold.

With Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Zach Eflin, Matt Moore, and Chase Anderson as the likely starting pitchers, and the bullpen having several more attractive options for manager Joe Girardi to turn to — such as Archie Bradley, Jose Alvarado, and potentially non-roster invitees Brandon Kintzler and Tony Watson — the perennially inconsistent Velasquez seems to be the “odd man out” at this stage of his Phillies career.

Jean Segura was reportedly linked to trade rumors with the Blue Jays earlier this offseason. When there’s smoke, there’s fire. So, there is potential that Dave Dombrowski can work out a deal involving Velasquez with the pitching-needy Blue Jays in the coming days.

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