The Toronto Blue Jays are in the middle of a mediocre season. They are 20.5 games back in the American League East with a 41-48 record. They have no chance of winning the division. That hope has fallen through the roof. Somehow, even the questionable Tampa Bay Rays have passed them in the standings. They are also 15 games back in the Wild Card. That is also unlikely. Ultimately, they need to sell off some pieces. There is the obvious in Josh Donaldson and J.A. Happ. However, Aaron Loup works for other teams and is not even talked about.
Aaron Loup is a LOOGY (lefty one-out guy) or a lefty specialist. Managers usually bring them in to get a lefty-batter with bad splits. Aaron Loup is that pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. Loup has a 3.86 ERA in 41 games, with 13 earned runs given up. This still is a 110 ERA+, just below his career average of 123 ERA+. His numbers are not eyepopping, that should not be surprising. He is not Andrew Miller. However, for a contender, a player like Loup will help enormously.
What teams could use Aaron Loup at the deadline? The New York Yankees come immediately to mind. Chasen Shreve is the only non-Aroldis Chapman lefty in the pen. Rather than being a LOOGY, he is more of a basic reliever. Versus lefties, Shreve has a .262/.392/.610 batting line for lefties. He has only faced 51 lefties, giving up three home runs, 10 runs, and 11 hits. Against righties (total 90), he has a .244 / .311 / .463 and five home runs. Most lefties usually do terrible against righties. Shreve is a reverse split machine.
Aaron Loup has the opposite problem. He struggles more against righties (.281/.343/.468) versus lefties (.254/.323/.345). Maybe a coach like Larry Rothschild can fix whatever he has been struggling with. His 2013 numbers were great (169 ERA+). We need more of that. In some way, Aaron Loup would be an upgrade over Chasen Shreve, who has worn out his welcome on multiple occasions with fans of the New York Yankees.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Loup will be a pure rental. It will cost almost nothing to get him. Maybe a B or C-level prospect. He is a free agent after the season, which is amazing, considering you might not realize he is the longest-tenured Blue Jay right now. He should be cheap on the market right now. Relievers are getting paid, even the second-tier ones. Three years, $17-19 million would probably get it done for a team. Doubtful the Yankees would spend that kind of money for 2019, 2020 or 2021, but there is a team that would spend that kind of money.
Aaron Loup is a forgotten free agent. Heck, he is not even on MLB Trade Rumors’ list of free agents. He will be with a new organization soon.