Mariners reportedly trade for All-Star Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez

·2-min read
Teoscar Hernandez with the Blue Jays.
Teoscar Hernandez will help lead the Mariners back to the postseason in 2023. (Photo by Thomas Skrlj/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

After breaking a lengthy playoff drought last year, the Seattle Mariners are looking to start a playoff streak in 2023. The team took a step closer to making that a reality Wednesday, reportedly trading for Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN

Hernandez, 30, is entering the final year of his contract. Barring a long-term extension with the Mariners, Hernandez will hit the free-agent market following the 2023 MLB season. He hit .267/.316/.491 in 131 games last season.

Early in his career, Hernandez showed immense power potential, but his extreme fly ball rate and strikeout rate limited his batting average. Over his first 1,194 plate appearances, Hernandez had a career .237 batting average.

Things changed in 2020. Hernandez lowered his launch angle, and started hitting more line drives. That switch resulted in Hernandez hitting for strong averages. Since 2020, he's hit .283. The change in approach did not hinder his pop. Hernandez has 73 home runs since 2020, which ranks 15th in MLB. He should provide a massive upgrade for the Mariners, who struggled to get production from their corner outfielders in 2022.

Blue Jays pick up two pitchers in exchange for Teoscar Hernandez

In exchange for Hernandez, the Blue Jays acquired pitchers Erik Swanson and Adam Macko, per Passan.

Swanson, 29, posted a 1.68 ERA over 53 2/3 innings in 2022. His strikeout rate jumped and his control was impeccable. He should continue to be a strong reliever over the next few seasons for the Blue Jays. Swanson won't be a free agent until after the 2025 MLB season.

Macko, 21, is more of a wildcard. The lefty has a career 3.98 ERA over three seasons in the minors. He's shown excellent strikeout upside, but has been limited by injuries over his career.