Mariners trade Walker to Blue Jays for player to be named later or cash
In a move that many around the league expected before next Monday’s trade deadline, the Mariners have traded right-handed starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, sending him to the Toronto Blue Jays for either a player to be named later or cash considerations.
The Mariners will reportedly get a prospect ranked in the top 30 of Toronto’s farm system, according to MLB insider and former MLB general manager Jim Bowden.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) August 27, 2020
Teams are not allowed to trade players outside of their 60-man player pool this season, which is the likely explanation for the wording of the trade terms.
Sending Walker to the Blue Jays, who are playing their home games in Buffalo, makes it the second deal that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has made with Toronto in the last week. The other sent designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, who had been designated for assignment, to the Blue Jays for cash considerations.
Dipoto confirmed the multiple reports that Walker was on the move while doing his weekly Jerry Dipoto Show interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Thursday morning. The team later confirmed the trade.
“We have made a deal that sent (Walker) to Toronto,” Dipoto said. ” … He could not have been better in the first half of an abbreviated season. The contributions that Tai made here and the way he helped our young players get over a hump, especially Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn and the bond that they were able to create with that starting rotation, was really outstanding.”
Walker, 28, is 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA, 25 strikeouts and eight walks in 25 innings this season. He threw the ball well his last two starts, tossing six innings of one-run (unearned) ball in Texas on Aug. 12 and following that up on Aug. 19 with seven innings of three-run ball against the Dodgers. He was scheduled to pitch Wednesday night in San Diego, but the game was postponed as players protested racial injustice. He was then slated to start the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader, but the Mariners turned to rookie Ljay Newsome following the trade.
Wishing you the best of luck with the Blue Jays, Tai. 💙 pic.twitter.com/ApAnvmoiRA
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 27, 2020
The Blue Jays have had some injuries to their starting rotation of late and were rumored to have interest in Walker. Entering Thursday, the Blue Jays are 15-14 and hold the No. 8 seed in the expanded 2020 playoffs in the American League.
Dipoto, who traded Walker from Seattle ahead of the 2017 season to the Arizona Diamondbacks before signing him to a one-year deal this offseason, said there is potential for Walker returning to the Mariners in free agency as soon as this offseason after making just four appearances in 2018 and 2019 due to Tommy John surgery.
“I wish him nothing but the best and don’t be surprised if somewhere down the line we’re talking about him again,” he said. “Taijuan was great for us and hopefully this is an opportunity for him to pitch towards a postseason and we’ll see in the next 30 days or so, whenever we’re in a position to talk about the return. We do feel good about what we were able to do here with Tai.”