Blue Jays trade Teoscar Hernandez to Mariners

10:10: The Mariners have announced the trade.

9:52 a.m.: Seattle sends right-handed reliever erik swanson and launch perspective Adam Macco to the Blue Jays in the trade, split reports.

9:49 a.m.: TSN’s Scott Mitchell tweets that the Blue Jays will get help from the bullpen in exchange for Hernandez. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets that well-known business candidate chris flexen it is No a part of this deal.

9:41 a.m.: The Mariners and Blue Jays agree to a trade that sends right fielder Teoscar Hernandez from Toronto to Seattle, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link).

Hernandez, who turned 30 a month ago, will give the Mariners an order-hearted slugger who posted a solid .283/.333/.519 batting line with 73 home runs and 71 doubles in 1,337 plate appearances in last. Three seasons Hernández has been a Statcast darling since the time of his Major League debut, regularly posting exit velocity and hard-hit rates; that was no different in 2022, when Statcast ranked him in the 94th percentile or better in hard-hit rate, average exit velocity, maximum exit velocity, barrel rate and expected slugging percentage.

That penchant for elite contact and extra power from Hernandez comes at a cost, it must be noted. While he has somewhat reduced his once-soaring strikeout totals, Hernandez still struck out 28.4% of his plate appearances last season. He got the strikeout rate up to 24.9% in 2021, so maybe there’s hope for more gains, but as of now that number is an outlier from the rest of his career. Meanwhile, his walk rate has consistently registered between 6 and 7 percent in recent seasons, just below the league average.

Beyond the enormous power potential, Hernandez possesses deceptive speed. He’s only tallied 24 steals (on 32 attempts) over the past three seasons, including just six in 2022, but Hernandez’s rushing speed ranks in the 84th percentile of MLB players, according to Statcast. With slightly bigger bases expected to perhaps spur the run a bit more in 2023, Hernandez is among the many players who could possibly start to take off a bit more often. Hernandez is also known for having one of the strongest shooting arms in the game. Yet despite that speed and arm strength of his, he consistently gets below-average grades for his glove work in right field; Defensive runs saved and above average have pegged him as a negative defender in each of the past four seasons. In 2022, he posted minus-3 DRS, minus-5 OAA, and minus-3.1 Ultimate Zone Rating.

Yet even if his speed and arm don’t translate to additional right-field defense, Hernandez has been a well-above-average all-around player in recent years, when you look at the sum of his parts. Both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference put him at eight wins above replacement in his last 324 games. Those 324 games have come in three seasons, though one was the shortened 2020 season. Overall, Hernandez has avoided major injuries. He missed three weeks this season with an oblique strain and was sidelined in 2021 with a positive Covid test (plus a few games on the paternity list). Overall though, he has played in 84.3% of his team’s possible games since 2020.

Barring an extension, Hernandez will be a year-long lease for the Mariners, and a relatively expensive one at that. Hernandez will complete six years of service time in 2023 and become a free agent next winter. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a hefty $14.1MM salary for him this season.

Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in general managers meetings last week that he was looking for at least one outfield upgrade this winter, if not two. Hern├índez should be located in the right field next to the center fielder Julio Rodriguez, but his presence in Seattle raises some additional questions. The club chose not to make a qualifying offer for Mitch HangerFor example, and while the acquisition of Hernandez doesn’t completely rule out Haniger returning to rotate corner outfielders, today’s trade inherently makes a reunion feel less likely.

The Mariners will have to determine if they’re comfortable with a mix of top past prospects. Jarred Kelenic, kyle lewis Y taylor trammell in left field. jesse winker is another option for left field/designated recipient, though as of yesterday, the Mariners were discussing business packages involving Winker. It’s easy enough to imagine such a group, with a little help from the workers dylan moore Y sam haggertykeeping the fort in the corners and in DH, but more additions should not be ruled out.

The Mariners, after all, are totally in winning mode now. And even with Hernandez on board, they have ample payroll capacity; the Hernandez acquisition is a net addition of approximately $12.7 million to the payroll, as Swartz had projected that Swanson would receive $1.4 million. They are projected for a payroll of $143.5 million after the trade, and that’s well below the $162 million peak they got in 2018. The return to the playoffs is likely to have increased revenue a bit, and MLB has agreed to several lucrative broadcast deals that earn each team considerable sums of money in the five years since that previously established roster.

Going back to the Blue Jays side of the deal, they will simultaneously add a much-needed power arm to the bullpen and shed the aforementioned (and approximate) $12.7MM in payroll. They’re still projected for what would be a franchise-record Opening Day payroll in the $176MM range, but the trade gives them more flexibility while adding a crucial arm to the relief mix. Swanson, originally acquired by the Mariners in the trade he sent james paxton to the Yankees, he struggled as a starter but has become an absolute powerhouse in Seattle’s bullpen.

The 3.31 ERA, 24.3% strikeout rate and 6.9% walk rate that Swanson posted in 35 1/3 innings during the 2021 season were a step in that direction, but it wasn’t until last season that he became a dominating force in the late innings. . Swanson’s 2022 campaign resulted in 53 2/3 innings with a 1.68 ERA with a whopping 34% strikeout rate versus a 4.9% walk rate. All told, since establishing himself in 2021, Swanson owns a 2.33 ERA in 89 innings of relief, a mark largely supported by metrics independent from the field (2.59 FIP, 2.87 SIERA).

Swanson is an extreme fly ball thrower, so some may be concerned about his transition from the pitcher-friendly environment at T-Mobile Park to the home run-happy confines of Toronto’s Rogers Centre, but the fact is that very few of the high ones the balls he gives up are hit with authority. Among the 385 pitchers with at least 80 innings over the past two seasons, Swanson has induced infield pop-outs at the sixth-best rating in MLB.

Swanson was also a batted deity on the mound in 2022, ranking near the top of the league in terms of average exit velocity (98th percentile), hard hit rate (96), “expected” ERA, and wOBA ( 97). “expected” slugging percentage (94), overall strikeout rate (96), and opponent chase rate on pitches outside the plate (93). He may not be a household name, but for the 2022 season at least, Swanson can rightfully claim to be one of the most dominant relievers in MLB.

Unlike Hernandez, who will be a free agent next winter, Swanson is a relatively long-term piece for the Blue Jays. With more than three years of major league service under his belt, he’s controllable through the 2025 season. And, because his break was of the “late-blooming” variety, he didn’t build the kind of lengthy pedigree that would reward him handsomely. on your first journey through the arbitration process. The Blue Jays will almost certainly pay Swanson less over the next three seasons than they would have paid Hernandez in 2023 alone.

It’s the same timeline for free agency shared by the Toronto closer. roman jordanwho will also be controlled until 2023. Swanson appears to serve as the main setup option for Romano, although he will be joined by veterans. yimi garcia, low anthony, Adam Cimber Y Team Mayza in what already looks like a deeper and more formidable relief body.

More to come.

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