Blue Jays Alek Manoah trade interest was never real, was it?

After rumors circulated about Alek Manoah potentially being traded, it appears that the Toronto Blue Jays have decided not to move him. Was the trade interest real?

Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

After rumors began to circulate about a potential Alek Manoah trade, it appears that the Toronto Blue Jays have decided not to move him.

Jon Morosi had previously reported that several teams had contacted the Blue Jays about the young right-hander's availability, but that the Blue Jays fully anticipated him being in their rotation in 2024.

It is worth noting however that Manoah has had a good offseason of workouts, as Morosi highlighted in his tweet. Recent videos also suggest that Manoah has been putting in the work this winter.

In the videos, Manoah appeared to have transformed his body, which suggests that he is coming into the 2024 season with a chip on his shoulder, hoping to not repeat his 2023 struggles.

But given that the Blue Jays have essentially turned away from Manoah trade talks, it's worth considering that maybe they were never interested in trading him away in the first place, as insider Scott Mitchell pointed out.

Blue Jays holding onto Alek Manoah

Mitchell's theory is that the Blue Jays were afraid to let Manoah go because of his upside, and teams then began to give the Jays lowball offers for him. Mitchell did state however that both parties are still "open to a change."

What this means is unclear, but it doesn't seem as though the Blue Jays ever had any intent to trade the right-hander. Instead, he'll remain in their rotation alongside Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassitt, and Jose Berrios.

With those four in the same rotation, the Blue Jays should be a force in the American League, especially if Manoah can bounce back and return to his 2022 form.

Last year, Manoah went 3-9 and posted a 5.87 ERA. He struggled so badly in fact that he was even demoted to the Florida Complex League. But the right-hander has something to prove in 2024 and has been putting in the work to ensure that he bounces back.

And it appears as though any trade interest may have ultimately been nothing more than a smoke screen,