Former Blue Jay Roundup: Robbie Ray moved by Mariners, Teoscar Hernandez signs with Dodgers, and more

Photo credit:John Froschauer
Michael Liu
6 months ago
A huge trade dropped out of the blue earlier in the week, as the Seattle Mariners parted ways with Robbie Ray in exchange for long-time former Mariner Mitch Haniger and RHP Anthony DeSclafani.
It’s a very interesting trade between the two ballclubs, especially given the timing of it all. Ray is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and is owed $73 million over the last three years of his deal. However, the Mariners are cancelling out that money dumped by acquiring Haniger and DeSclafani, both of whom are available prior to Ray’s expected return after the all-star break.
It appears to be very much a swap between good players who struggled last season. Haniger has shown that he can be a good OF bat in the lineup during his time in Seattle, and when DeSclafani is healthy, he offers a very solid arm for the Mariners that can tide them over until their young pitchers can take the reins. The Giants will be hoping that Ray can recapture his Cy Young form after coming back from TJ, along with a rough postseason ride the last time out. Both teams are banking on their acquisition to rebound to previous form – and it’s definitely a hefty load on the payroll to hedge that bet.

L.A. Dodgers sign Teoscar Hernandez

Los Angeles is throwing all the money around. Don’t know how good it is for baseball, but they added yet another all-star bat to their lineup by inking Teoscar Hernandez to a 1-year, $23.5 million deal for this season.
This is just overkill at this point. Setting the bar for a good bat at this contract is pricing out numerous small market teams, only allowing the rich to get richer. The Dodgers are embarrassingly loaded with talent for the 2024 season with their checkbook open to acquire anyone by any means necessary. Free agents will now be able to look at Hernadez’s contract as a comparable and use it to leverage for more money – which is great for the players, but there won’t be many teams that will be able to bid for their services.
As just an additional bit for fun, $8.5 million of this contract is deferred to 2030-2040 because it’s the Dodgers, and of course, they would do something like that.

Michael Brantley retires from baseball

One of the most underrated and consistent players of the last decade is stepping away from the sport.
Michael Brantley wasn’t ever a superstar in the Show, but was he ever a tremendously valuable and effective piece for any roster? Splitting his career between the Cleveland Guardians and Houston Astros, the 5-time All-Star had 10 straight seasons of over 105 OPS+, with a career average of 117. Injuries caught up to Brantley, with him missing about 50% of his appearances since 2016 and only featuring in 15 contests last season. Even then, Brantley was sporting a .304 batting average, .821 OPS, and a 120 OPS+.
While the 2014 Silver Slugger won’t be officially recognized as a World Series Champion, Brantley received a ring from the Astros organization when they claimed the title in 2022. It’s not the perfect fitting end to an excellent career, but it was well-earned for all of his contributions through the years. Brantley will be bidding farewell to the “professional hitter” chapter of his life, with a new chapter now to be written.


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