The Arizona Diamondbacks are sending outfielder/catcher Daulton Varsho to the Toronto Blue Jays, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Arizona will be getting back a package that is reported to include top-catching prospect Gabriel Moreno and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel.
Arizona finished the 2022 season with a 74-88 record and in fourth place in the NL West. They have been labeled as a rebuilding team, and this move plays into that narrative. They lose Varsho but have depth in the outfield and also get Gurriel back. Moreno is considered one of the top baseball prospects, and it is surprising to some analysts that the Blue Jays were willing to part with him. For Toronto, they look to improve on their 92-70 record from last season in a tough AL East, and Varsho bolsters their outfield and provides a solid backup catcher.
Varsho will have four more years of control for Toronto as he is entering his first arbitration year. He played in 151 games and hit .235 with 23 doubles, 27 home runs and 74 RBI. While the batting average seems low, Varsho still projects to slot in as the team’s starting right fielder and brings even more pop to an already powerful lineup.
Gurriel hit .291 with 32 doubles, 52 RBI and 52 runs scored in 121 games played last year. He has one year left on his extension but is still under team control until he is due to be a free agent in 2025. Arizona could have Gurriel take over for Varsho in center field, but he projects to lock down either left or right field as the Diamondbacks shuffle their outfielders.
Moreno got a glimpse of big league action and played in 25 games in the 2022 season. There wasn’t much of a learning curve for the prospect as he hit .319 with a double, home run and seven RBI. Arizona already has their catcher of the future in Carson Kelly, but the addition of Moreno provides them with some flexibility. They can alternate the catchers and have the other DH, or Kelly could slot over and play third base every day while Moreno becomes the primary catcher. Moreno is only 22 years old and has five years left of team control.
When it comes to how this trade could affect the upcoming season, Blue Jays now have +1300 odds to win the 2023 World Series at DraftKings Sportsbook. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, they are installed at +10000 to win the next Fall Classic. Toronto has +700 odds to win the American League, with Arizona having +5000 odds to win the National League.