The Toronto Blue Jays are trading All-Star OF Teoscar Hernandez to the Seattle Mariners, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The Blue Jays and Mariners faced each other in the Wild Card round of the 2022 MLB playoffs. The Mariners won the best-of-3 series 2-0, upsetting Toronto. Here are the full details of the package, per Passan:
Heading back to Toronto in exchange for Teoscar Hernández are right-handed reliever Erik Swanson and left-handed starter Adam Macko, sources tell me and @kileymcd. Swanson had a 1.68 ERA last year while Macko was in High-A. Hernández is a free agent after the 2023 season.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 16, 2022
The Blue Jays had a bit of a logjam in the outfield heading into 2023. Hernandez was set for arbitration this offseason and was going to become a free agent in 2024. Toronto gets a bit of a head start on finding a new home for the All-Star OF. The Jays also have Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, Whit Merrifield and George Springer as potential OFers for the upcoming season. Merrifield likely starts at 2B but can move around. This also allows for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alejandro Kirk to rotate at DH.
The Mariners get a huge boost adding Hernandez, who should slot immediately in at RF next to Julio Rodriguez. This clearly means the Mariners are moving on from prospect Jarred Kelenic, who hasn’t really panned out since being acquired from the New York Mets and being viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball the past few seasons. Seattle could slot somewhere in the middle of the lineup in the 4 or 5 slot behind Julio and Ty France. Eugenio Suarez could bat cleanup with Hernandez in the 3-hole or vice versa.
In 2023, Hernandez hit 25 HRs with 77 RBI, a .819 OPS and 2.7 WAR in 131 games for Toronto. He’s hit at least 20 HRs in four of the past five seasons with the Blue Jays and had 16 HRs in 50 games in 2020, the shortened season.
Swanson was very good out of the bullpen for the M’s in 2022, sporting a 1.68 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 53.2 innings with 14 holds in 57 appearances. He also had a few saves. Macko is more of a long-term project as a left-hander in the minors.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Blue Jays at +1000 to win the World Series in 2023 and the Mariners sit at +1800. We should see a bit of a shift with this deal for Seattle. There’s also a lot that can happen between now and the start of the season with free agency.
Grabbing the Mariners at +1800 feels like a good value. The M’s should have beat the Houston Astros in the Divisional Round but choked away two games on the road. Rodriguez is only going to get better and the pitching staff is stacked with Luis Castillo for a full season, plus Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Robbie Ray.