When New York Yankees fans learned of the team’s interest in a trio of outfielders from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the main concern was that the Houston Astros would rush in at the last second to steal the best option available.
Instead, it was the division-rival Toronto Blue Jays who traded for outfielder Daulton Varsho last week. They sent top prospect Gabriel Moreno and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to Arizona as part of the deal, which received mixed reviews.
Moreno, heading into 2022, was No. 7 on MLB’s Top 100 prospect list and No. 3 on Baseball America’s rankings. The 22-year-old hit the big time in 2022 and hit .319 with a .733 OPS in 25 games. He provided 0.7 WAR.
As for Gurriel Jr., he’s been a hugely productive big league outfielder since his debut in 2018. He has a career-high .285 AVG, .797 OPS, and 117 OPS+ in 468 games (but defense has never been his card). of visit). He signed for $5.83 million in 2023 and still has a year of control in 2024.
Varsho, on the other hand, had a reputable MLB season (4.9 WAR in 2022 thanks to a productive offense and stellar defense). He’s controllable through 2026 but, as a Super Two player, he’s likely to have costly raises over the years.
Blue Jays overpaid for Yankees trade target Daulton Varsho was silly
From a long-term perspective, this has both advantages and disadvantages for the Jays. Varsho will slot into the future outfield picture with George Springer. For at least the next two years, he’ll probably be cheaper than Gurriel. He’s younger, a better defender, and offers another left-handed bat.
But that’s about all ? There is no guarantee that it will maintain its 2022 production as it is only one year of proof. Additionally, many analysts, scouts and pundits were high on Moreno, and when rumors suggested the Jays would trade from their receiver surplus, it was assumed they would sell high on Alejandro Kirk or Danny Jansen. Instead, they dealt Moreno, their most valuable and valuable asset, and received Varsho, who has just 283 games of MLB experience and hits .234 with a .738 OPS and 103 OPS+. since he started.
His only full season in 2022 is all that sets him apart from Moreno. This could perhaps be a sign of positive productivity to come, but Moreno and a better outfielder than Varsho in exchange for Varsho’s 151-game sample looks like a huge overpayment. And believe us, we’re almost always anti-prospect hugs.
To put it mildly, the jury is still out on whether or not the Blue Jays improved their roster for 2023 and 2024 with their offseason moves. Right now, it feels like all they’ve done was take a trade goal off the Yankees’ roster at a price most other teams wouldn’t be willing to pay.
With Teoscar Hernandez, Gurriel and Moreno, the Jays had a positive outlook for 2023 and a roadmap to keep all of those guys in the picture for 2024 and beyond. Instead, a lot of roster gymnastics ensued, further clouding the outlook for this team.
Accessories to their aggressiveness and get the guy they wanted. Yankees fans can tell you they’re jealous of that aspect of the Jays’ dealings here.
But that’s where the craving begins and ends. The Blue Jays ended up getting rid of the list of two influential dugout presences and the organization’s best prospect this offseason. If it works, it will be more like they’re defying the odds than anything.