Pondering the idea of the Blue Jays bringing back an old friend

Photo credit:Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Stack
1 year ago
Nothing like a no-hitter to spark some hot Blue Jays takes, eh? How about this one?
An underperforming offence has easily been one of the biggest topics surrounding this year’s Blue Jays group, mainly because this past offseason included the departures of two former offensive weapons. In an effort to upgrade the defence, drop expiring contracts, and implement more left-handed hitters, Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. were traded by the Blue Jays’ front office. An offensive regression was expected, but it has been worse than Toronto had hoped.
In Hernandez’s case, he was entering his final year of arbitration before free agency, so Toronto preferred to get something back for him instead of risking the chance of him walking for nothing in 2024. Also needing another bullpen arm, the Blue Jays nabbed Erik Swanson and prospect Adam Macko from Seattle in exchange for Hernandez. The trade got mixed reactions from Blue Jays faithful; Hernandez was one of the longer-tenured Blue Jays who had a flair for loud home runs and contagious smiles. But from a business side, it made sense.
As of Saturday morning, Seattle’s 44-43 record has them 6.5 games back of the AL West and 3.5 games back of a Wild Card spot. It has been an underwhelming season for a team that had high hopes once their playoff run ended last season. They’re not technically out of any playoff races, but at the rate they’re going, selling off some of their expiring contracts may be worth their while.
That, my friends, would include Hernandez.
On the year, Hernandez is batting .249/.302/.736 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs. Before anyone says “no thanks”, if Hernandez was on Toronto’s roster, he would be tied for first on the team in homers and third in RBIs. The return for Hernandez of Swanson plus Macko was set before the season, so surely the asking price for two months and some change of Hernandez would be much less than that.
This shouldn’t be a “Please forgive us Teoscar, we made a mistake” conversation if Toronto makes a deal for him; the offensive isn’t helpless. The Blue Jays had a goal in mind on how they wanted their team to look and they made it that way. The outfield defence has been sensational, but the left-handed bats haven’t been as productive as they’ve needed to be. Despite their offensive shortfalls, Toronto is still in the mix for a playoff spot, and this would be a temporary, logical, and (hopefully) simple move to make.
If anyone’s wondering about Gurriel Jr. – his Diamondbacks currently lead the NL West, so it’s increasingly likely that he isn’t moved before August. However, if Arizona wants to make him available, the above concept could be applied.


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