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Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Trading for Erik Swanson was a great move
2 months ago
Heading into the 2023 season, the Blue Jays needed swing and miss in their bullpen, and they got it.
This is the 40-man Roster Review, in which we’re going to take a look back at each player on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster, and how they performed in 2023, as well as their outlook for 2024.
On November 16, 2022, the Blue Jays sent fan favourite Teoscar Hernández to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed reliever Erik Swanson, as well as left-handed starting prospect Adam Macko.
Focusing on Swanson, the righty was one of the best relievers in 2022, posting a 1.68 ERA and a 1.85 FIP in 53.2 innings pitched with the Mariners. On top of that, Swanson had a great 34 K% and a fantastic 4.9 BB% for a 29.1 K-BB%.
The 30-year-old’s first season with the Jays didn’t go as well, posting a 2.97 ERA and a 3.51 FIP in 66.2 innings pitched. Moreover, his K% declined to 28.6%, while his BB% increased to 8%. Still, Swanson is incredibly valuable in a stacked Blue Jays bullpen.
Fangraphs’ Steamer projections believe that Swanson will regress significantly next season, as the predict he’ll post a 3.89 ERA and a 4.06 FIP in 64 innings pitched, along with a 25.8 K% and a 7.7 BB%. For some reason, I find this hard to believe.
In the end, the Drew Hutchison trade tree remains one of the best in franchise history. They moved the struggling starter to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Francisco Liriano, Reese McGuire, and Harold Ramírez. Liriano was moved to the Houston Astros in exchange for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernández, while McGuire was moved to the Chicago White Sox for Zack Collins.
The fact they turned Hutchison into two-time Silver Slugger Hernández is an accomplishment in itself, but all but one player the Jays acquired in this trade tree have played in the majors at one point or another.
Perhaps it’ll get even better in the future, but as long as the Jays are contending, I don’t see them trading Swanson as he still has two seasons of team control remaining.
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