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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Teoscar Hernandez traded to Mariners for pair of pitchers

The Mariners swung the first blockbuster trade of the offseason, acquiring All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernández from the Blue Jays on Wednesday, a source told’s Jon Paul Morosi. The teams have not confirmed the trade.

Sources told’s Mark Feinsand that the Blue Jays will receive reliever Erik Swanson and lefty pitching prospect Adam Macko in return. Macko, 21, is the Mariners’ No. 8 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2022 at 11:02 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: teoscar hernandez

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2022 at 01:40 PM (#6105780)
Looks partly like a money move as Teoscar was slated for about $14 (MLBTR) in his last arb year. A #8 prospect ain't much but Swanson could be quite good -- 1st-year arb eligible, added 2 K/9 last year, put up a 1.68 ERA on a 1.84 FIP! That came out of nowhere but a 11.7/1.7 K/BB would be a pretty extreme fluke.

Given Teoscar is a pending FA, I can see the Jays might prefer Nimmo, move Springer back to RF/DH where maybe he stays healthier. Or maybe Hernandez just wouldn't extend so the Jays decided to cash him in now. For the Ms, a nice addition with implications for Haniger, Winker and Kelenic (I know Haniger is an FA but seemed like he could be a cheap re-sign on a prove it deal). That could make a solid OF/DH rotation around Rodriguez but more likely at least one of them is out the door (I know Winker is persona non grata).
   2. i don't vibrate on the frequency of the 57i66135 Posted: November 16, 2022 at 01:51 PM (#6105784)
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6105786)
Winker is probably on the move, but is Kelenic on the move too?
   4. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 16, 2022 at 02:55 PM (#6105800)
I think the Mariners HAVE to give Kelenic more chances, right? He's still young, top-5 prospects don't grow on trees, and he's cheap and under team control.
   5. Dr. Pooks Posted: November 16, 2022 at 03:34 PM (#6105810)
Or maybe Hernandez just wouldn't extend so the Jays decided to cash him in now.

There is a report from Hector Gomez with a comment from Teoscar indicating he was personally hurt that the Jays never made a multi-year offer.

Hernandez had an interesting timeline with the Jays.

He was acquired at the deadline in 2017 as the centerpiece of a trade where the Astros picked up a struggling Francisco Liriano and tried to convert him to a reliever on a contending team. Hernandez also joined a Jays team that just had their window closed after playoff success in 2015 and 2016 with a bevy of declining and expensive vets like Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Marco Estrada, Troy Tulowitzki, etc.

Hernandez impressed immediately, displaying raw power and hitting a whack of September HRs.

His next two full seasons, he became a lightning rod for fan ire as his outfield defense was unplayable and lackadaisical despite continuing to display power and league average walk rates despite persisting contact and K% issues.

Then in the shortened 2020 COVID season, Teoscar broke out as a star, OPSing .900+ on a Blue Jays team that stuck into the playoffs and began contending ahead of schedule with thr signing of Ryu and the continued development of Vladdy Jr and Bo Bichette.

Hernandez followed it up in 2021 with a Silver Slugger 32 HR, 115 RBI season where the Jays were eliminated from the playoffs by Boston and New York on the final day of the year.

Somewhere between 2020 and 2022, Teoscar's unplayable defense in RF went from DH-worthy to simply below average. Blessed with a decent arm, his routes improved to the point that fans stopped demanding he be relegated to DH, though occasional incidents of lackadaisical effort to collect XBHs continued.

With his offensive breakout and his relatively improved defense, Hernandez transformed in the COVID era from a scapegoat to a fan favourite with a glowing smile, decent English skills and a reputation for being a prankster in the dugout, beginning a tradition of dumping sunflower seeds on the head of every teammate post-HR.

Teoscar in the end though is more of a victim of systemic problems rather than individual ones.

Hernandez became a key supporting player on the next contending Jays window led by Vlad and Bo. But the regular season success met Oakland As levels of playoff humiliations, being embarrassed by the Rays in a 2 game sweep in 2020 as .500 team just happy to be there.

2021 saw MVP and Cy caliber seasons from Vlad Jr, Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray wasted falling one game short on the final day after being close to top of the league in bullpen meltdowns and blown saves in the spring pre-deadline.

2022 similarly saw a close-to-league-best offense be swept in two games by a Luis Castillo and the Mariners shutout and a record-breaking bullpen meltdown after leading Game 2 7-1.

As has often been the case, the COVID era Jays are too right-handed, too swing-and-miss, too Earl Weaver dependent.

And unfortunately, this fits Hernandez to a Tee. Hernandez has great raw power and league average walk rates, but is still extremely streaky and vulnerable to breaking balls away.

Hernandez supposedly did the most damage in 2022 of anyone in the league on middle-middle pitches.

It's been three consecutive years of seasons ending for the Jays in heartbreak and something needed to be done to shake up a team that is quickly becoming not-as-young and expensive with contracts to Ryu, Kikucki, Berrios and arguably Springer that are already underwater.

Godspeed Teoscar.

If you were left-handed or could play a competent CF, you would still be a Blue Jay.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2022 at 04:11 PM (#6105812)

I think the Mariners HAVE to give Kelenic more chances, right? He's still young, top-5 prospects don't grow on trees, and he's cheap and under team control.

Yea, but they're in win-now mode, not sure they can afford to give him 500 PA if he's a bust. If you can cash him for a player that helps you win now, maybe it makes sense to move him.
   7. JJ1986 Posted: November 16, 2022 at 04:53 PM (#6105818)
Ms also have Kyle Lewis and Taylor Trammell. I'd expect them to add one regular player in the OF or DH and to fill the other spot with the 3 former prospects.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2022 at 06:22 PM (#6105837)
I really only meant an effect on Kelenic in terms of playing time not necessarily that he'd be moved although obviously you consider it in the right deal. But boy has he looked lost. (And I overlooked Lewis and Trammell.)

too right-handed, too swing-and-miss, too Earl Weaver dependent.

In Earl's defense, he's been dead for nearly 10 years. I'm sure if he'd known teams would still be depending on him, he'd have created an EarlBot.
   9. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 16, 2022 at 07:08 PM (#6105848)
But boy has he looked lost.

Especially against lefties. Kelenic had a .130/.203/.222 line against lefties last year, and to the naked eye, it looked even worse that that. It seemed that he missed the ball by a foot every time he swung...
   10. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2022 at 11:08 PM (#6106020)
And now Kyle Lewis traded is the first shoe to drop.

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