Just two hours before the trade deadline and the Blue Jays made their first (of what was assumed to be many) trade of the day. Daniel Hudson is heading to Washington to join their bullpen.
Daniel Hudson has been traded to the Washington Nationals, per source.#BlueJays
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) July 31, 2019
Signed to a one-year, $2.5-million deal this winter, Hudson has been a solid bullpen option for the Jays this season. Through 48 innings for Toronto, he has a 3.00 ERA and a 9.0 K/9.
He is now joining a team in the Nats that were hopeful to compete in a difficult NL West division and is currently only 5.5 games behind the division-leading Braves.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 31, 2019
Per Bob Nightengale, Kyle Johnston is coming to the Blue Jays in return for the 32-year-old Hudson.
Johnston, 23, was selected in the sixth round back in the 2017 draft and has been rising through the Nationals system ever since. Currently in High-A, Johnston has started a total of 20 games for 105 innings.
Through those innings, Johnston has a 4.03 ERA and has a total of 100 strikeouts and 37 walks. This is his second time through High-A, as the pitcher was promoted to that level midseason last year.
One of the major problems that appeared for Johnston the amount of walks given in the past, but since he turned professional in 2017, this season sports his lowest BB/9, while also improving on his K/9 from his appearance in High-A last year.
On the most recent Baseball America prospect rankings, Johnston was listed as the Nationals’ number 21 prospect. Although he has started in the minors, because of his very meh numbers and pitch tools, if he pans out to be in the majors at all, it will most likely be in the bullpen.
Overall, this, the Phelps trade, as well as Sogard heading to the Rays, are some examples of Toronto turning low-risk buys and turning them into some prospect values at the deadline. Whether or not any of these prospects pan out at all, it’s still worth it to get some value out of veterans earlier in the season and then some hope for the future.
Hopefully the Jays just don’t continue doing these small moves forever.