Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)
The deal is apparently official. The Francisco Liriano era in Toronto has officially come to an end and will be finishing up the 2017 season in Houston.
In return, the Jays will receive outfielder Nori Aoki and a Minor League player from Houston. Aoki has approximately $2 million left on his contract for the remainder of this year and also has one more year of arbitration left for the 2018 season. He will provide the Blue Jays will some additional outfield depth and was sort of the "you scratch my back" part of this trade.
This season hasn't been much to brag about when it comes to Aoki, but that was to be expected given the up-and-down performance by Liriano over the course of the season. This season, over the course of 71 games, Aoki has produced a line of .272/.323/.371 with an OPS of .694, a strikeout rate of 13% and a walk rate of about 7%. Which... yeah. Not the greatest, but I don't know if anyone was expecting anything phenomenal for Liriano in a deal in terms of Major League talent (I'll get to that in a minute). Considering he's arbitration eligible next season, he certainly seems like a non-tendered candidate, but time will tell.
The Minor League player coming into Toronto's possession is outfielder Teoscar Hernandez. This, as it seems, is why the Jays took on Aoki as Hernandez ranks No.9 in the Astros top prospects list, per MLB Pipeline and No.8 in their prospect list in Baseball America. In 79 games in AAA ball, Hernandez has produced a line of .279/.369/.485 with an OPS of .854. A great little piece that provides the Jays with even more depth and strength in their farm system. At just 24, Hernandez is still young enough that the Jays can maybe give him a little more time in the minors, or he may be able to knock on the door for the team in 2018 - perhaps as the Heir to the right-field throne that is being occupied by Bautista? We'll see. Either way, it's a great pick up.
Given that this is a result of trading Drew Hutchinson last year, it's hard not to be happy with this return. Let's not also forget, there's still about 2 hours of this madness left, so stay tuned!
Also, how's this for irony
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