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A Day After Their Closer Jordan Romano Lands On The IL, The Blue Jays Go Out And Get Flamethrower Jordan Hicks

The first domino of the St. Louis Cardinals 2023 fire sale has begun. It makes sense for both sides. The Cardinals are going nowhere and are starting to unload assets. Jordan Montgomery appears to be headed to Texas, and Jack Flaherty will likely be on the move soon as well.. There are also rumors about Nolan Arenado potentially being on the move. Hicks is a fascinating case. He burst onto the scene in the early part of his career, throwing some of the most ridiculous two-seam fastballs that we've ever seen at the big league level. He struggled with consistency and injury issues over the last several years. He got off to a god-awful start for the Cardinals this season. But this is where I like this move for the Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano is currently on the IL, Hicks has underlying numbers and stuff that have always been pretty darn good, and while a 3.67 ERA on the season isn't exactly dazzling. It doesn't tell the whole story. Over his last 25 appearances, Hicks has been fantastic, putting up a 1.95 ERA and a sub-two FIP since May 8. One of the issues Hicks has run into throughout his career is that despite how electric his stuff is, he doesn't miss as many bats as one might think. That has changed this season. His 5.2 walks per nine still aren't pretty, but his 12.7 strikeouts per nine is a career-high. And I must reiterate Hicks' numbers since May 8 are night and day. The walk rate still isn't good, but he's been far more consistent with his strike-throwing. 

Many people haven't been talking about the Blue Jays as huge buyers at the deadline, even though they should be. Toronto should be so much better than they are, and while their championship window is by no means on the verge of closing anytime soon, teams like the Rays and Orioles are going nowhere. They have to make a legitimate push. The Cardinals received two minor league pitchers in return. The package was never going to be overwhelming. Hicks is a free agent at the end of the season. It's a move that had to be made. I can't call it a gamble because the Blue Jays didn't empty their farm system to acquire Hicks, but you don't know what version of him you'll get. If he continues to pitch the way he has since early May, he could be a guy that could be nails down the stretch for Toronto. It's a good pickup, but the Blue Jays will have to do a lot more if they want to put themselves in the thick of the World Series conversation.