On November 16, 2022, one year ago today, the Toronto Blue Jays traded slugger Teoscar Hernández to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Erik Swanson and left-handed pitching prospect Adam Macko. Let’s look back on the deal and how the three players have done since.
Hernández spent six seasons with the Blue Jays, slashing .263/.320/.503 with 129 home runs in 2,419 plate appearances with Toronto. This included three fantastic seasons between 2020 and 2022 in which Hernández won two Silver Slugger Awards and was named to one All-Star team.
After last fall’s loss to the Mariners in the Wild Card round, the Blue Jays ultimately decided to shake up their roster and sacrifice some offence for improved defence. Hernández was among the players who got moved in order to fulfill this goal.
The 31-year-old outfielder had an alright season in his first and potentially only season with the Mariners, slashing .258/.305/.435 with 26 homers in 678 plate appearances for a 105 wRC+ and a 1.8 fWAR. There was undoubtedly some decline in his game, as he slashed .267/.316/.491 with 25 homers in 535 plate appearances for a 130 wRC+ and a 2.5 fWAR in his last season with Toronto.
Seattle opened not to issue Hernández a qualifying offer, so he’s currently a free agent for the first time in his career. A reunion with the Jays makes plenty of sense for both parties, as the Jays need some home runs and Hernández mentioned ahead of the trade deadline that he would be interested in a return to Toronto.
Erik Swanson was fantastic in Toronto’s pen. The 30-year-old right-handed pitcher posted a 2.97 ERA and a 3.51 FIP in 66.2 innings pitched, along with a 28.6 K% and an 8 BB%. Compared to his 2022 numbers, he didn’t have a great season, as he posted a 1.68 ERA and a 1.85 FIP in 53.2 innings pitched. Furthermore, his K% in 2022 was 34%, while his BB% was 4.9%. He logged a ton of key innings for the Blue Jays in the first half of the season and was a critical part of their strong bullpen.
Adam Macko has been in the news cycle lately as the Jays added him to the 40-man roster earlier this week in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. The 22-year-old left-handed pitcher posted a 4.81 ERA and a 3.97 FIP in 86 innings pitched, striking out 28.5% of batters and walking 10.8% of them. While his ERA and FIP increased, his walk rate dropped and his health was an encouraging sign. The young pitcher throws a fastball that sits 92-97 mph, and he features several plus pitches.
All in all, this continues to be a successful trade tree for the Blue Jays, dating all the way back to the summer of 2016. Drew Hutchison was dealt to the Pirates for Francisco Liriano, Harold Ramirez, and Reese McGuire, and then Liriano netted the Blue Jays Hernández when Liriano was dealt to the Houston Astros in 2017.
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ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO