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Report: Rival executives believe Blue Jays are open to trading Manoah

Alek Manoah Toronto Blue Jays Alek Manoah - The Canadian Press

Rival executives around MLB believe that the Toronto Blue Jays are willing to trade pitcher Alek Manoah, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Rosenthal reports that, speaking under the condition anonymity to avoid charges of tampering, multiple executives think the Jays may be looking to move on from the young after the a 2023 season in which the relationship between player and team may have been fractured. 

Manoah finished third in American League Cy Young voting in 2022, when he held a 2.24 earned runs average with 180 strikeouts in 196.2 innings pitched. 

The drop in production in 2023 was significant for the 25-year-old: he pitched to a 5.87 ERA in 87.1 innings and was demoted to the minor leagues on two separate occasions. His walk rate more than doubled, from walking 6.5 per cent of batters in 2022 to 14.2 per cent in 2023. 

As TSN Blue Jays Insider Scott Mitchell reported on August 28, Manoah, who was officially demoted to the AAA Buffalo Bisons on August 11, had not yet pitched for the team in more than two weeks since being demoted. It was reported that he did not immediately report to Buffalo - a report that was clarified by Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins to have been the result of a 'mutual decision' to have Manoah stay in Toronto and have additional testing done for injuries.

As it turned out, he was not dealing with an injury, but the team decided to end his season early in September after the extended break from pitching.

Toronto has not tipped their hand one way or the other as to whether they want to move Manoah. Atkins, at his end-of-season availability, said that Manoah earned "the right to have a strong leg up" in the competition for the Jays' final rotation spot in Spring Training next year.