John Tomase

While Red Sox did little at deadline, Blue Jays front office ‘is all in'

"It just shows that they're serious about us making a run at this thing."

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Red Sox manager Alex Cora on Friday dismissed suggestions the team's trade deadline inaction would lead to another August swoon, as happened in 2019, 2021, and 2022. He chalked those struggles up to injuries.

"I know other people have other theories or whatever," Cora said. "But I think if you're healthy, you can play well."

Across the diamond, it was worth checking in with the rival Toronto Blue Jays before a crucial weekend series with playoff positioning on the line. The Jays filled two important holes last week, acquiring fireballing Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks to mitigate the loss of closer Jordan Romano, and then going back to St. Louis for infielder Paul DeJong after All-Star shortstop Bo Bichette hit the injured list with knee inflammation.

Whereas Red Sox players like Rafael Devers and Kenley Jansen publicly sought reinforcements that never came, the Blue Jays credited their front office with stepping up.

"We're in a good position, and the fact that they're doing that means we're all in," said catcher Danny Jansen. "There's a common goal, and that's important."

The two teams have been jockeying for wild-card position since the Red Sox swept the Jays at the start of July to kickstart a run back to contention. The Red Sox haven't been able to make up much ground since, however, because while they're 14-9 since leaving Toronto, the Jays have kept pace at 15-10.

Now they square off in Fenway Park for three games with Toronto holding a two-game lead for the final wild-card spot. One of those teams will be playing with reinforcements, and the other will not.

For the longest-tenured member of the Jays, left-handed reliever Tim Mayza, the front office rewarded the club for fighting to contend in baseball's toughest division.

"It just shows that they're serious about us making a run at this thing and making a run at the playoffs and playing deep into October," he said. "Every team is kind of jockeying for position, and it's interesting to see what happens and how chaotic the deadline is going to be. We have a real good ballclub here, so what additions are we going make to take us to the next level and make a run at this?"

Whereas the Red Sox have needed arms for a month, with ace Chris Sale and promising young starters Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock on the injured list, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom decided the price for obtaining replacements was too high.

The Jays, by contrast, dealt their seventh- and 18th-rated prospects for Hicks, who is a rental, and an unranked right-hander for DeJong, a former All-Star. The Red Sox will wait for their injured players to return, with shortstop Trevor Story's rehab window expiring on Wednesday.

In the meantime, the Red Sox have won all seven meetings with Toronto this year, a streak the Jays hope to end this weekend. That they got the help they needed has them in a good place mentally.

"Anybody you get at the deadline for a team in our position is obviously going to be a guy that helps us," Jansen said. "We're excited to have them on our team."

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