18. Toronto Blue Jays (37–44, minus-45, LT: 13)
You wouldn’t normally consider a platoon of Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney as the answer to any roster problem. But that’s where the Jays are, after Devon Travis suffered a knee injury that might knock him out for the rest of the season.
True to his banjo-hitting reputation, Goins is batting a mere .211/.274/.339 this season. What’s worse, he’s a once-stellar defender whose defensive numbers are down across the board this season—albeit less so at the easier position of second base than they have been at short. Likewise, Barney’s not the defensive whiz he once was, and his .233/.273/.301 offensive line is even feebler than Goins’. At age 29 and 31 respectively, what you see is what you get from this duo—they’re 25th-man types forced into far more regular duty out of necessity.
But here’s the thing: Jays fans will probably have to make their peace with that arrangement anyway. After shaking off a 6–17 start to storm back to the cusp of .500, the Jays’ winning ways have sputtered. They own the fourth-worst record in the American League, they’re still struggling through multiple key injuries, and speaking of defense, theirs is awful: Toronto ranks third-worst in the American League in Defensive Runs Saved, and dead last in the AL defensively in both left field and right field. Making a splashy deal to acquire a Travis replacement in exchange for quality prospects, at a time when the team is struggling just to hang anywhere near breakeven, with the oldest group of position players in the majors (and thus a need to preserve young talent for the future), makes no sense.
At this stage of the season, the Jays likely are what they are: a decent team that could make a little run at some point, but one likely destined to miss the postseason for the first time in three years, then face at least a mini-rebuild in the winter.