Photo Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays acquire Derek Fisher for Sanchez, Biagini

Around the MLB, as soon as 4:00 pm ET hit, there was a flurry of trades that were finalized with mere seconds left until the deadline — in one of the many, the Blue Jays acquired outfielder Derek Fisher from the Houston Astros fo Aaron Sanchez, Joe Biagini, and Cal Stevenson.

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Sanchez, arguably the biggest piece going to Houston, has had his fair share of big moments in Toronto, but since the memorable playoff games he has been stuck in a gutter that he just can’t get out of. With his free agency eligibility looming in 2021, the Jays decided to move on from the pitcher and try to get some value out of him instead of potentially non-tendering the pitcher this winter.

The 27-year-old starter leads the entire MLB in walks, so getting anything back for him should be considered somewhat a blessing. If anyone can fix him and return him to the ERA-title winning 2016 Sanchez, it’s the Astros — perhaps he’s more valuable to Houston than he would ever become in Toronto.

He did showcase some of his talent in recent weeks, striking out the first six batters of game, but overall he was never really going to fulfill what everyone hoped he would become in Toronto.

Joe Biagini this season, with his 3.86 ERA and his career-high 9.0 K/9, has made a tremendous comeback and held-up some value in this trade. There were early rumours that the Twins or Braves would be in on the reliever, but he’s heading to Houston in this package.

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Arguably the strangest part of this deal is giving up what seemed like a hot prospect in Cal Stevenson. The 22-year-old outfielder has quickly risen up the ranks and was last ranked as the teams no. 25 prospect. The 2018 10th-round pick in his time with High-A Dunedin has slashed .298/.388/.393 and has a 137 wRC+ on the season.

Coming back to Toronto is 25-year-old outfielder Derek Fisher. Once a top-100 prospect in 2017, Fisher has been in and out of the Astros’ lineup since 2017, spending the other time with their Triple-A affiliate.

In Triple-A this year, Fisher has been hitting for a .286 average with a .924 OPS, but in the majors it’s another story. Through three different seasons and a total of 312 plate appearances, Fisher has a .649 OPS.

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Like most deadline deals, we’ll see how this all ends up. Trading away Sanchez and Biagini hurts right now, but if they don’t end up becoming what the Astros want them to become and Fisher finishes off his season well after getting a consistent role on the Blue Jays, then it might not be so bad.

  • dolsh

    I don’t understand this deal. Seems like three good players were needed to get a guy that seems Travis Snider-ish. I’m going to have to find some scouting reports…

    • The Humungus

      For once, I’m in agreement. At least the Stevenson part. I can’t understand how Sanchez and Biagini aren’t enough for Fisher.

      Though I’m not high on a no-power college bat who’s hitting for a high average at *checks notes* High A.

      • Jeff2sayshi

        I really don’t understand this deal in the least. Fisher has proven nothing at the MLB level.

        This reeks of desperation to cut ties with Sanchez and Biagini, but I have no idea why the FO would feel that way. There are no pitchers in AAA forcing their hand to come to the bigs. The Jays need starters and relievers, and we basically just gave away two of them which were under team control beyond this year.

        The author’s insinuation that Sanchez was a non-tender candidate is disingenuous. He hadn’t been performing that poorly, and had actually been pretty good the past couple times out.

        • The Humungus

          I dunno man. I can see plenty of reasons that the Jays wouldn’t want to go through arb with Sanchez one more time.

          Leading the league in walks, WHIP and having Scott Boras as an agent are three of them.

  • Seguaro

    I’ve always given this management team the benefit of the doubt but these trades have forced me into the maddening crowd. A monkey with a dart could have done more.

  • Treylum

    Thornton 21 games started in career 5.45 era.
    Borucki 19 games started in career 4.31 era.
    Reid Foley 10 games started in career 4.24 era.
    Pannone 10 games started in career. 5.15 era.
    Waguespack 3 games started in career 5.23 era.

    That is our starting rotation. And now Borucki is out… who do we even call up next? I have supported the management team through this endeavour. I am struggling to get behind this trade deadline. This has been absolutely brutal.

    Our outfield now has Gurriel, Hernandez, Grichuk, McKinney, Fisher, Alford, Davis, Pompey. Where is the playing time?

  • AD

    Atkins and Shapiro need to be held accountable for this bullshit. As far as I am concerned, they deserve to lose their jobs after this brutal deadline. look at all the assets we had and this is all we got!? Where are the top/blue chip prospects in return? Bring back AA please, these guys are fucking clowns and don’t know what they are doing. Oh, and fuck you too rogers for brining in these bozos and mishandling the team the last 2-3 years.

  • Kristen Sprague

    Atkins said they turned 14 years of control into 42 years. Control only matters if the players coming back are good or did they forget that part of the equation. All I can say is that this FO must hit on these deals as they are baffling.

  • Mose

    Just read the Arden Zwelling Sportsnet column, and even though I’m very critical of Aaron’s ability to throw strikes or command ANY of his pitches, I wasn’t aware his numbers make him one of the worst MLB SP this year.

    Maybe the Jays accommodated him and his agent to get him to a better situation in HOU, while opening up more opportunity for the kids to develop?

    The kids or an opener can’t really do worse than Sanchez has this year…

    I remember his magical season where he dominated with high velocity and crazy two seam movement, but both of those key elements have eluded him for some time …. good luck to the stros in finding the magic.