There are still a few days left before the trade deadline, but the Blue Jays have already found a starting pitcher upgrade.
The team announced that they have acquired right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Walker is a free agent at the end of the season, but this is a nice, low-cost addition for the Jays, who badly need help in their rotation.
OFFICIAL: We’ve acquired RHP Taijuan Walker from the M’s for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 27, 2020
Walker’s name is one that had come up over the past week as somebody the Jays were rumoured to be looking at. Given the fact they had already made a deal with Seattle (acquiring Daniel Vogelbach for cash), it seemed fair to assume that they had kicked tires on the big righty.
After being limited to just 14 innings over the past two seasons due to injury, Walker has had a nice bounceback year with the Mariners. Through five starts, he owns a solid 4.00 ERA and is striking out 8.3 batters per nine while walking 2.7 per nine. He’s also managed to pitch seven innings in two of his five starts, which would be a huge addition to Toronto’s broken-down rotation.
Speaking of that…
Trent Thornton's 2020 season is over. He's on the 45-day injured list (right elbow inflammation) to make 40-man room for Walker, who's now officially a member of the #BlueJays
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August 27, 2020
We also learned that Trent Thornton’s season is finished due to elbow inflammation. That’s obviously a really, really tough break for Thornton, but it further illustrates just how badly the Jays needed to add another arm to their rotation right now.
It looks like this is just the beginning for the Blue Jays.
Ross Atkins expects the #BlueJays to be “extremely active” in seeking deals between now and Aug. 31 (Monday)
“We would like to continue to add to our pitching,” he said, adding that “run prevention” is still the priority.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) August 27, 2020
Ross Atkins said that the team still wants to add to the pitching staff, and, beyond that, the team clearly has a need for some depth on the bench.