The Blue Jays have made their first big roster move of the offseason today, shipping infielder Aledmys Diaz to the Houston Astros for 25 year old right hander Trent Thornton.
#BlueJays have acquired RHP Trent Thornton from the #Astros in exchange for INF Aledmys Díaz per club— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) November 17, 2018
The stated plan of the front office for this winter was to trade from their abundance of position players to pick up some pitching depth. This is very clearly a step in that direction. However, it likely doesn’t help to address the other issue that is facing the Jays, as they work towards cutting down their 40 man roster in advance of the November 20 deadline to protect players. Diaz comes off the roster, but Thornton is eligible for the draft, and likely will be protected.
Thornton spent the entire 2018 season pitching for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies in the Astros’ system. He made 22 starts and a pair of relief appearances, throwing 124.1 innings. He put up pretty good strikeout and walk numbers, 8.83 K/9 and 2.24 BB/9, and seems to be pretty much MLB ready. The 25 year old was a College signing in 2015 out of the University of North Carolina. Based on his Minor League numbers, Steamer is projecting him for a 4.58 ERA and a 4.54 FIP, which is better than anyone not named Stroman in the organization right now (although there’s probably things there I’m not accounting for, like the difference in division and ballparks).
Aledmys Diaz’s time in Toronto was short, coming over on December 1 of last year for JB Woodman. He put up a .263/.303/.453 with 18 home runs over 130 games. It was great having him here, and I wish him the best of luck in Houston.
Welcome to the organization Trent!
Here is some video from the AFL Fall Stars game: