Since stumbling into a 2-11 hole to start the season, the Blue Jays have had the AL's second-best record (24-16). And while they're still in last place in the AL East, they're just 5 1/2 games behind the front-running Yankees and two back in the wild card, and they are welcoming the Bronx Bombers to Toronto for a four-game series starting Thursday. As if that wasn't enough cause for optimism, lefty Francisco Liriano is coming back from a three-week DL stint because of a shoulder injury to start on Friday.
The Jays won the AL East in 2015 and made the postseason as a wild-card last year. Both of those routes into October remain in play this year. If they falter, they could deal starter Marco Estrada and outfielder Jose Bautista (who has a mutual option for 2018 and a vesting one for '19), both of whom are pending free agents and even explore the possibility of dealing star third baseman Josh Donaldson, who's got one year of club control remaining.