The Blue Jays have grabbed the first notable starting pitcher of deadline season, acquiring righty Taijuan Walker from the Mariners in exchange for a player to be named later. Both clubs have announced the trade. The PTBNL, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link), is someone not currently in Toronto’s 60-man player pool.
To make room for Walker on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays transferred righty Trent Thornton from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list. He’d been diagnosed with loose bodies in his right elbow and will now miss the remainder of the 2020 season.
Walker, who turned 28 earlier this month, was the No. 43 overall draft pick by the Mariners back in 2010 and spent six years in the organization before being traded to the D-backs in the 2016-17 offseason. He returned to Seattle on a one-year, $2MM deal this season after missing the vast majority of the 2018-19 seasons in Arizona due to injury. That figure is prorated to about $720K in the shortened season, with about $344K of that sum yet to be paid out. Presumably, the Jays are on the hook for that portion of the deal.
Though the reunion was short-lived, Walker looked plenty healthy in his five starts to begin the season. He’s pitched to an even 4.00 ERA with a 25-to-8 K/BB ratio, five homers allowed and a 36.8 percent ground-ball rate. Walker’s most recent outing saw him hold a tough Dodgers lineup to three runs — all solo homers — on four hits and a walk with eight punchouts over seven frames. He’s averaged 93 mph on his heater thus far in 2020, and that number has crept upward of late; Walker sat at 92.6 mph as recently as July 31 but averaged 93.3 mph in his two most recent outings.
Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto said in a radio appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle (Twitter link via 710’s Jessamyn McIntyre) that he hopes to eventually discuss another reunion between the Mariners and Walker. Given Walker’s status as a pending free agent and the Mariners’ distance from postseason contention, however, the move was widely expected. Dipoto added that he’s happy to send Walker somewhere that he’ll have the opportunity to pitch in the postseason.
The Jays will add Walker to a rotation that recently lost Nate Pearson to an elbow injury and has generally struggled beyond top starter Hyun Jin Ryu. Veterans Matt Shoemaker and Tanner Roark have matching 4.91 ERAs — each with an FIP greater than 6.00. Righty Chase Anderson has been solid in a tiny sample, but he only just returned from an oblique injury and has yet to top five innings in a single appearance this year. The Jays have ridden an unexpectedly strong bullpen into the AL Wild Card mix, but it’s been clear that rotation upgrades would be needed for the team to hang onto that opportunity.
General manager Ross Atkins made that much clear a week ago when he acknowledged his plans to focus on win-now moves — specifically those that would reinforce his team’s starting pitching. The Jays were also recently linked to Pirates righties Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl, and it stands to reason that they could yet look into acquiring another starter. For now, Walker represents an affordable rotation upgrade who could conceivably make six or seven starts over the final 32 days of the regular season. He’d likely factor into the club’s playoff rotation as well, should the Jays ultimately qualify.
Onlookers may be a bit surprised to see the return as a PTBNL not in the Blue Jays’ 60-man player pool, although that hardly means the Mariners’ return will be negligible. No team can fit all of its noteworthy prospects into the 60-man pool, of course, particularly given that most clubs — contenders in particular — have some of those slots allocated to veteran depth pieces. (Toronto, for instance, has Ruben Tejada, Caleb Joseph, Jake Petricka and Justin Miller in its pool.)
Furthermore, the expectation throughout the industry has been that the return for rental players such as Walker will be even more tepid than usual in a given season. Clubs are typically reluctant to part with high-end prospects even for a full two-month rental of a player in a 162-game season, and parting with notable prospect(s) for half that time is obviously an even tougher sell.
That’s not to say the return for Walker will be negligible. He was among the likeliest pitchers to change hands and surely drew interest from virtually any contender in search of rotation upgrades, so the Jays are presumably parting with a prospect of some note to acquire him. The likelihood is that said prospect was omitted from the 60-man pool either due to a lack of proximity from the Majors or a current injury.
The player’s identity won’t be formally announced by the team until after the season and might not even be settled upon yet; it’s not uncommon for teams to provide lists from which a trade partner can select a PTBNL. There’s also been some speculation that conditional trades — i.e. the PTBNL is X if acquiring team makes the playoffs or Y if the acquiring team does not — could be of increased popularity given the truncated nature of the current season.
You didn’t expect Taijuan to be traded or u didn’t expect him to go to the Jays? I didn’t expect the latter. You were prob the same cuz Tai’s name has been put out as a trade candidate for over a week.
Nice little pick up for the 2nd best team in NY. I wonder what they gave up? We’ll see shortly.
PTBNL – in a 162 g season I believe teams have 6 mo’s to decide on the player. Bottom line we (M’s) get a player who probably won’t impact the team for 2+ yrs
I definitely think the Buffalo Blue Jays have a shot for the playoffs now. Maybe 3 teams out of the AL East in the playoffs this season
Big House, are you specifically referencing the 2nd best team in AL East with 3rd ranked talent, and 1st ranked over pay?
Yank4life- Wait what? They are not from New York. They are playing in New York because they cannot play in Toronto. At least to me that’s disrespectful towards the Mets. I believe that the Mets will finish with a better record than the Blue Jays.
It could’ve been a 1st or 2nd round pick from last year. Not on the 60 man doesn’t mean trash by any means.
I doubt they gave up a first round pick for a 30 day rental but we will see. Strange days…
The Angels gave up their first round pick for salary relief last offseason, but they’re an especially bad organization.
Plenty of solid prospects aren’t in their team’s 60-man player pool. There’s not room for most prospects there, particularly with every club allocating some of those spots to veteran depth.
Exactly- what those boys above said! It could easily be a 2020 draft pick. Incidentally- the Mariners are infamous for (prob) the worst PTBNL trade when said PTBNL ended up being Big Papi! We miss you Bavasi…..like a global pandemic! Haha
Players selected in the most recent draft can’t be included in trades, even as a PTBNL, until the offseason. They cleaned that up after the Trea Turner debacle between the Nats and Padres.
When the Mariners traded Big Papi to the Twins, his name was David Arias. So that literally was a trade for a Player To Be Named Later..
It’s a virtual guarantee that they ran through best offers from all of the teams and maybe a mid-tier guy is all that anyone was willing to give up. A PTBNL used to be pretty negligible (with a handful of notable exceptions), but the case for resetting our expectations was pretty well laid out in this post. I’d also point out that the current market of what has been traded reinforces the general attitudes a lot of teams have expressed regarding the truncated season.
Can you recommend a good resource to look at what teams are carrying on their 60-man rosters? I suspect that a lot of teams couldn’t even field a full squad at their alternate sites right now anyhow, but I’d love an easier way to look at the roster construction when things like this come up.
That depends on the philosophy used to create the 60-man this season. Teams that are attempting to compete this year, will fill the 60-man with players who can be called on to help out on the MLB club if needed. The consequence is that they will have younger decent prospects who will be left off of the 60-man because those players wouldn’t be able to help out at MLB. – those players will be losing a season of development time.
The other side is the approach taken by teams such as the Mariners, who aren’t intending to compete and hence filled their 60-man with all of their best prospects so that the prospects could receive at least some development time at the alternate training site.
I’m not sure where the Jays were in their approach to filling the 60-man, but I don’t think that you can glibly assume that a player isn’t a decent prospect just because a team didn’t put him on the 60-man roster.
Just looked a bit, Jays have a lot of their top prospects not on the 60 because of how far away they are, and a lot of the back end of their top 30 are on the 60.
It could be someone from this past draft who’s not in camp (once the restriction on trading them is lifted)
I wish MLBTR did a segment about notable prospects per team left off the 60 man roster.
Could be someone as high up the list as Adam Kloffenstein, #10 prospect according to MLB, who I don’t see on their 60 man..
Could be someone lower like Griffin Conine, #16 on Jays prospects, not on the 60 man.
I’m sure seattle gets a list of players to choose from. Possibly 2 depending on Walkers performance even.
Wow, that was huge and they all had to give up was a PTBNL that’s not on the 60 man roster, finally the jays are making smart moves
You have no clue who the kid they just gave up might be. May end up being a very bad deal for Toronto. You just don’t know with a PTBNL. It’s not quite the same as it was in recent years.
Fair, but we’ll have to see who that player is, for now it’s still a pretty solid move to bolster the rotation
How did the just get a PTBN when multiple teams were in on Walker, the Yankees most notably. I work for the Blue Jays single A team and would love to see someone I’ve seen play be the PTBN
its just someone not on the 60. its their way of avoiding using a 60 man spot on the player in question.
Ckin88, Jaysfan- some PTBNL trades include- Michael Brantley, Big Papi, Marco Scutaro, Moises Alou, Gio Gonzalez and most recently Trea Turner. However, you have to keep in mind the Mariners past trade history- if you google worst trades in history there are a number of Seattle trades on there, (Adam Jones, Varitek/Lowe, C Guillen, R Soriano, Mike Hampton, O Vizquel etc) but to be fair those trades were all made before Jerry Dipoto’s reign so we’ll see……later!
True, but I also read in another article it could a PTBNL or cash considerations so maybe it’s not one of their very top prospects, and I don’t think walker is worth a top 10 or top 20 prospect maybe a top 30
@ckln88 – you can’t trade anyone that is not on your 60 man roster during the season. They have to be a PTBNL. Many of Blue Jays top prospects are not on the 60 man roster right now so its possible they actually trade a very good prospect. My guess is the Mariners actually got a decent prospect if they traded him with 4 days left and Blue Jays are probably looking to beat the Yankees to him and gave up something decent, not just a scrub.
So the best prospects aren’t neccersarily on the “60”…actually, most aren’t. I suspect Jerry D. got a good return for a rather “meh” starter. It’s absolutely a seller’s market this year.
Nobody was getting a huge return for walker with his track record. Plus there are plenty of good prospects that aren’t on 60 man rosters.
No matter what they get its a win for the mariners. This is exactly why rebuilding teams take a flyer on a guy like walker. In hopes of trading them for value at the deadline. Smart move.
Exactly- the Mariners only had roughly 5 maybe 6 starts left from Taijuan. They flip that to get a player who will hopefully give us 6 years in the ML. We’ll find out if said player comes from the Jays 2020 draft- I’m hoping that’s what we agreed upon since it’s guaranteed to be a 5th rd or better prospect. BTW- The Jays picked 3 SP’s, a SS and an OF in their 5 rds. I seriously doubt it’s their 1St pick SS Austin Martin, hopefully it’s one of their young SP’s
I’am sorry to tell you Seattle fans you are talking about names that if they are correct will cost Ross Atkins his job.
No need to seriously doubt. It isn’t Austin Martin. You weren’t getting him for Marco Gonzales.
The Blue Jays get another good, promising pitcher to help bolster that rotation, and I also think Walker feels pretty good right now too. He went from maybe not even signing with a team, to now being a trade asset for the M’s. Yes the hassles of mid-season trades suck, but I bet/hope that this is a confidence booster to Walker. Everyone knows he has the talent.
I’m guessing this means that we probably won’t see Trevor Williams and Chad Kuhl get traded to Toronto now. Maybe they will…
Anyway, I think this is a great pickup to add to a surplus of other right-handers, including Roark, Anderson, Yamaguchi, Shoemaker, etc. Taijuan to me will probably be a 2 or 3 starter on this team, maybe a front-end bullpen guy along with Hatch and others. Overall, huge get for the Blue Jays, and hey, the Mariners got some value in this deal as well for a guy who will pitch in less than 6=7 games if he starts for this Jays team.
So far, this may be tied for the second biggest deal this season, behind the Workman/Hembree Phillies deal, and tied with the Tim Hill to Padres deal.
I was expecting for Taijuan to be moved closer to the deadline to see if they could possibly get two PTBNLs, but it’s definitely a good deal for the Jays.
As a Jays fan who has no idea who the PTBNL is, I think we lost the trade! You get a decentish starter for 6 starts and maybe 8th seed. Hurray!
Originally I thought the player had to be in the 60 man to be traded? Like, prior to a trade
On the 60-man is required if the player is named in the trade and the trade occurs during the season. After the season it can be any player. So for a trade occurring now for a player who isn’t on the 60-man, the PTBNL is used and the trade will be completed after the season. But the trade must be completed within six months.
They do, that’s why some prospects have been called up to the 60 man, because they are about to be dealt. Unless, of course, the team just wants to get the prospect some work in. Though it should be a nice warning for a prospects getting moved up to say “I think I might be traded”. I hope it would give a little warning.
In my understanding of the trade rules, a player named specifically in a trade must be in the 60-man pool. But there are no regulations on ptbnl.
Depending on the trade market we could see a lot more like this.
That’s true unless it’s a player to be named which is an oddly easy to exploit loophole gonna be a lot of unnamed players moving.
After a quick search of the Blue Jays top prospects vs their 60 Player pool here are some possiblities of the PTBNL. Have at it
2 Austin Martin SS/OF
7 Orelvis Martinez SS
8 Gabriel Moreno C
9 Miguel Hiraldo SS/2B
10 Adam Kloffenstein RHP
12 CJ Van Eyk RHP
13 Kendall Williams RHP
14 Eric Pardinho RHP
15 Otto Lopez SS/2B
16 Griffin Conine OF
17 Leonardo Jimenez SS/2B
18 Estiven Machado SS
19 Dasan Brown OF
20 Rikelvin De Castro SS
27 Will Robertson OF
29 Sem Robberse RHP
30 Nick Frasso RHP
Martin is in their player pool, for the record. He’s also ineligible to be traded until after the season, even as a PTBNL, because he’s a 2020 draftee. Same with Van Eyk and Frasso (the ineligible part — neither is in the player pool).
I did a quick look myself as well and if you look at similar type traded players in years past, they’ve fallen in the second tier of prospects. Considering its a non 60 man roster guy, and the needs of the Mariners organization, I would bet on one of the guys listed in the group at 7 thru 9. with a lean towards a middle infielder.
I was thinking infielder too but I was thinking Dipoto found a youngster he likes. De Castro and Machado are both 17. That’s where I’d put my money
This is a great preview for how unexciting most of these deadline deals are going to be. Going to be a bunch of players traded for PTBNL. Guess we have something else to look forward to in the offseason….
I did a recent thought experiment, to see what makes a good pitcher. So I went through the Mlb’s top 100, chose out all of the pitchers, and made a set of guidelines that are common between all of the pitchers (expect for two outliers). Logan Gilbert is probably my favorite pitcher on the list that isn’t a super prospect like Gore. He meets all of my qualifications, and he has a nice repeatable motion. I expect him to be really good.
I think they will likely give some starts to Ljay Newsome until Graveman comes back. I don’t know that they want to bring Gilbert up this year although I wouldn’t have an issue with it.
The Mariners have turned Walker and Marte into Haniger, JP Crawford (Segura), a PTBNL…when you take it all the way down the line.
The Mariners also picked up Carlos Santana in the Segura trade, whom they flipped for Edwin Encarnación, whom they traded for Juan Then. Juan Then is a minor leaguer they regard highly enough to have included on their 60-man roster to be sure he got continuing development this year.
In other words, someone such as Juan Then would be the type of prospect the Mariners could receive as a PTBNL.
Oh yeah, I forgot about that Edwin trade. I remembered Edwin playing out his contract in Seattle, but you’re right. Plus what I said below, it makes for a pretty good return, but we’ll see.
Going even further, Segura was traded to Philly for J.P, and Santana, and then Santana was flipped to Cleveland for Encarnacion… and a competitive balance pick in the 2019 draft, at #76, it was Isaiah Campbell. He is now the M’s 12th ranked prospect, and he looks pretty good. So they got quite a lot out of Marte and Walker. Plus whoever the PTBNL is.
Plus about $60M in salary savings on Segura. Plus Juan Then and Isaiah Campbell after they flipped Santana for Encarnacion and ultimately Encarnacion to the Yankees.,
Ah yes, Juan Then the guy they traded away and then traded for again. DiPoto likes to take things full circle.
That would be a little heavy for a guy whose going to walk at the end of the year, but it may not be far-fetched…like I said, a definite seller’s market.
Klof was an immediate thought of mine given I know he’s been playing on loan in the Constellation Energy League, (the one the Rox signed Rosscup out of) but he hasnt performed very well there so unless the Jays soured on him i dont know if he would move in a trade for a rental.
No way he is the guy. He is a major talent. My guess is someone at the bottom of their top 30.
Would agree with that. Kloffenstein is a real pitching prospect with an innings eating #3 starter upside. He’s really built like a big league starter.
I’d guess some super young kid that Dipoto fell in love with. Someone probably not even at Short season A ball level yet or maybe the “cash” could be international signing money
I bet you its a guy no lower than 15th in the system and probably one of the guys ranked 7 thru 9 in the rankings.
I highly doubt that for a handful of starts, Maybe a toolsy further off guy like #19 Dasan Brown.
Now that they have to be more frequent it’s interesting that nobody is going to know the return on these PTBNL deals until the offseason.
We could end up with a situation where comparable players are traded and when we find out in a few months the returns end up looking drastically different because there was no context for them to look to around the league to be able to determine fair value.
Love the move, concerned about the PTBNL…Walker was highly sought after and I’m guessing that the Jay’s put together a fairly solid list to choose from. Fingers crossed it’s more of a Conine type, rather than an upper level guy like Groshans
The jays show PTBNL or cash considerations, I don’t think we should expect much of a return unless he helps out in a big way
I highly doubt that the Mariners would have traded Walker for cash considerations as it doesn’t make sense or fit their M.O. If that was the case, it would be a terrible trade for them.
so Thornton has loose bodies and is out for the year, but when Eflin had them last year it was pushed under the rug. smh.
I’m assuming the Jays traded a decent prospect or the Mariners would have held onto him for a few more days and liked for better offers.
Idk if it was Kendall Wiliams either. I’m thinking more a long the lines of a far off guy with a good ceiling. Dasan Brown #19 or Sem Robersse #29.
Both of those guys have high ceilings but a long way to go before the majors. That’s my bet,
If he pitches well for TOR, I could see him being an extension candidate. He’s not even 30 y/o.
The Mets should be taking notes on how the Blue Jays are orchestrating this rebuild. Scouting, player development, and some sneaky good trades with an emphasis on pitching. The Jays ate some contracts to get rid of some deadwood, but it was worth it. They were committed to a rebuild and it hasn’t taken long to become a team worth watching. Nice future for that ballclub.
Rangers should be taking notes as well. 4 years of a “re-tool” just to have a few decent YOUNG pieces (IKF, Trevino, Solak, Taveras), and one “Star caliber guy”… Gallo. We have made good free agent pickups for pitching like Minor and Lynn, but besides that, there’s not much to be excited about. We don’t have a good farm, and our international guys who were supposed to be stars ended up flopping (Odor, Profar, Mazara, and hopefully not Guzman). We can’t develop prospects for our life, and we still put them on this weird “de-loading” program that sounds like it hurts more than it helps. Our bullpen can consistently pump out great arms, but that might be the one bright spot of this team.
Hopefully by the end of this season our farm will look better after we (hopefully) trade Lynn. Let’s hope we can tank for the rest of the season for Kumar or Leiter!
Nice pickup by Toronto. Walker seems to have it back together. He looked outstanding last week against the Dodgers. The Jays will likely retain all their most-valuable trade chips in this one. They have been my pick to land Lance Lynn and I am sticking with it. Even if that doesn’t happen, Jays fans should be thrilled at how rapidly the rebuild is progressing.
You must have enjoyed Anderson’s performance. A shame about Siroka, but the Braves aren’t far away from having an outstanding rotation. They should continue to rule that division.
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