Who had June 28th as the date the first domino falls?!
The Blue Jays have traded Steve Pearce and cash considerations to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Santiago Espinal.
The 23-year-old Espinal was taken in the tenth round in 2016 by Boston and hasn’t played above High A, though he’s currently having a great year in A ball, slashing .314/.364/.478 over 64 games for the Salem Red Sox. Espinal doesn’t appear on any top prospect lists, but he did appear on FanGraphs Fringe 5 last month:
As is the case with many player to demonstrate this kind of improvement in the majors, Espinal is hitting many fewer batted balls on the ground. In fact, his ability to avoid both the whiff and ground is tops among players at High-A
I get that he’s old for A ball, but this combined with the fact that he’s apparently above average at short definitely sounds good to me.
As for Pearce, what can you say? He’s not really a guy that will lead your offense, but he’s extremely valuable as one of the final pieces to a contending team, which uh, the 55-27 Red Sox are. Pearce hit .306/.358/.531 on his side of the left field platoon. Over the handful of games he played over two years here, he did his job, playing in the outfield and first base at a passable level. He also gave us these two magical moments just days apart:
The move clears another 40 man roster spot for Toronto, who now sit at 38. Lefty starter Tomas Pannone will take one of those when he returns from his 80 game PED suspension.
As for the domino thing, I don’t necessarily think this will start a flurry of moves, it’s just a matter of playing time. But trade season is almost upon us, folks, and pretty much every player on the active roster is available. We have just over a month until the deadline, and the team has a lot of moves left to make.