The Seattle Mariners have acquired OF Teoscar Hernandez from the Toronto Blue Jays, per ESPN's Jeff Passan. Hernandez is a 2-time Silver Slugger award winner and 2021 All-Star. Seattle is fresh off of a playoff season but they are now setting their sights on reaching the World Series. Hernandez profiles as a powerful right-handed bat that should help propel the offense moving forward.
The Mariners are reportedly sending RP Erik Swanson and pitching prospect Adam Macko to the Blue Jays in return for Hernandez, per Ryan Divish.
Seattle Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto commented on the Teoscar Hernandez acquisition, per Bob Nightengale.
“We began our off-season with the intent to add impact and length to our lineup. In adding Teoscar to an already solid foundation, we feel we’ve become a far more dangerous offensive club.”
Teoscar Hernandez, who as previously mentioned was a 2021 All-Star, took a step back in 2022. He slashed .267/.316/.491 with an .807 OPS and 25 home runs last season. It should be noted that he was limited to just 131 games for the Blue Jays. The 30 year old still has plenty of productivity in his bat.
The Mariners snapped a 21-year playoff drought in 2022. Julio Rodriguez ended up winning the AL Rookie of the Year award in a landslide, and one has to imagine the Teoscar Hernandez trade will directly benefit him. Hernandez's power will offer protection for Rodriguez in the lineup. Pitchers will be forced to go at him rather than work around him.
Additionally, Hernandez's presence will help cushion the potential loss of Mitch Haniger. The Mariners did not extend him a qualifying offer, but they still can re-sign him. But it will be interesting to see if they pursue Haniger in free agency following this Teoscar Hernandez deal.
The Teoscar Hernandez move is the first high-profile trade of what projects to be a wild offseason.