With the Blue Jays just about to kick-off their 3-game series in Houston tonight, it felt like a good time to look back on the trade that brought Teoscar Hernandez to Toronto almost one year ago.
Hard to believe that the Astros would part with an MLB ready prospect like Hernandez for a few months of Francisco Liriano. In hindsight, the Astros made for the perfect trading partner last year. Absolutely loaded with talent (including more quality young outfielders than they knew what to do with), they could easily afford to part with such a promising young player. Combine that with the fact the Astros were desperate for that elusive first World Series, and it made for an ideal scenario where Toronto could add a solid player without having to part with much.
It’s scary to think where the Blue Jays would be this season without Hernandez. With Josh Donaldson being on the DL for much of the year, Toronto’s offense was desperate for someone to step-up. Even though Hernandez has some work to do yet on refining his offensive game (increasing his OBP would be nice), he’s still in the Blue Jays Top 3 for hits (62), doubles (17), triples (5), RBI (33), and SLG (.540).
The trade for Hernandez is a perfect example of how to go about moving a soon to be free agent for young talent. Given the number of veteran players the Blue Jays are likely to be trading between now and the July 31 trade deadline, all they need do is look back at the acquisition of Hernandez to see how much can be gained by parting with players with expiring contracts.
Trading for Hernandez also revealed that the Blue Jays front office certainly does their homework when it comes to trading for prospects. Some of the best trades by Ross Atkins have been ones where veterans were exchanged for youth. Whether it be the return he got for Drew Hutchison (Reese McGuire, Harold Ramirez, Francisco Liriano), or the deal he made last year for Joe Smith that saw Samad Taylor and Thomas Pannone come back in return.
Normally you have to sit around and wait years to see if the prospects you trade for pan out. Well it took all of two months last year for the Blue Jays to discover they have a keeper in Hernandez. A trend the Blue Jays can hopefully continue with the coming trade deadline.