Tale of the Tape Breakdown: Playoff Contenders, Mariners vs Blue Jays
Mariners v Blue Jays: Offseason Summary
After a disappointing season in 2022, Toronto had quite a busy off-season. It kicked off with their big trade with the Seattle Mariners, sending all-star OF Teoscar Hernandez to the Mariners in exchange for relief pitcher Erik Swanson and prospect Adam Macko. This was a weird trade, as Seattle was getting a legitimate cleanup hitter in a contract year, while the Blue Jays appeared willing to part with some offense to help with their relief pitching.
To replace the production they lost from the Hernandez trade, the Jays made three moves. First, they signed veteran CF Kevin Kiermaier to a 1 year deal. Light on the bat, but strong with the defense and leadership, Kiermaier is a nice depth move.
Their second move was a stunning trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Toronto sent OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr and prized catching prospect Gabriel Moreno to Arizona in exchange for OF/C Daulton Varsho. This is a massive trade, as Varsho was really good last year, but was a heavy price to pay. Varsho is 3 years younger than Gurriel Jr, so it's reasonable to think he'll be a better player going forward, but the Moreno piece could be massive.
The final offensive mood was a stinger for me and many Mariners fans, as the Jays were able to sign 1B/DH Brandon Belt on a 1 year deal. When healthy, Belt crushed right-handed pitching and brings championship experience to a team that needs it.
To complete their hectic off-season, the Blue Jays brought in starting pitcher Chris Bassitt away from the New York Mets. With Jose Berrios and Yusei Kikuchi being absolutely horrendous in 2022, the rotation desperately needed stability.
Out were Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr, in are Bassitt, Belt, Varsho, and Kiermaier.