Latest Blue Jays deal could open the door for the Angels to acquire a promising pitcher

Alek Manoah becomes an intriguing trade candidate after the Blue Jays agreed to a deal with Yariel Rodriguez.
Aug 10, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (6) throws a
Aug 10, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (6) throws a / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays just made their biggest move of the offseason, signing Yariel Rodriguez to a four-year deal worth $32 million. The deal is not official yet because there are still some hurdles that remain in regard to his immigration status, but Rodriguez is expected to be a Blue Jay when it's all said and done.

The right-hander joins a Blue Jays team already loaded with pitching. Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassitt, Jose Berrios, and Yusei Kikuchi are locks in Toronto's rotation, and Rodriguez will presumably battle with Alek Manoah for the fifth starter spot. That's a rotation Angels fans can only dream of.

Hearing Manoah possibly battling for a rotation spot ahead of the 2024 season would've been insane just a couple of years ago as Manoah was an AL Cy Young finalist in 2022, but last season was a disaster for him, leading to an offseason that has been full of trade rumors. Toronto has not dealt Manoah yet, but perhaps after signing Rodriguez, a pitcher who has started before, the Jays would consider a Maonah deal. If that's the case, the Los Angeles Angels should be all over it.

The Angels should be all over an Alek Manoah trade if he were to become available

There's no saying as to whether Manoah will be available for a trade after the Rodriguez deal becomes official, however, it doesn't hurt to ask. Yes, this past season was a disaster, but we've seen the Cy Young upside. If Toronto really wants to sell low, the Angels have an opportunity to make a big upside swing here.

Manoah was an AL Cy Young finalist in 2022 after posting a 2.24 ERA in 31 starts and 196.2 innings of work. He was the ace of a Blue Jays staff that was good enough to make the playoffs. This past season Manoah only made 19 starts and was demoted to the minors twice, but again, the upside is clearly there.

Manoah just turned 26 years old and would come with four years of team control. If he turns things around, the Angels have their ace for the next half-decade at least. If not, he really can't be much worse than Tyler Anderson was last season anyway, right?

The Angels have players the Blue Jays could want like Luis Rengifo or Brandon Drury and can always add prospect capital on top of one of them. If they're unwilling to spend big in free agency, making an upside play like this makes a lot of sense. Even if he doesn't revert back to Cy Young form, chances are the Angels wouldn't be giving up the farm to get him.