Blue Jays trade outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to Mariners for pitchers Swanson, Macko

The Toronto Blue Jays have traded outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Erik Swanson and Adam Macko.

The 30-year-old Hernandez, who is entering his eighth Major League Baseball season, batted .267 with Jays last season with 25 home runs and 77 runs batted in.

Hernadez spent six seasons in Toronto and won Silver Slugger awards in both 2020 and 2021, and was a finalist this season. The Silver Slugger is awarded to the best offensive player at each position in both the American and National Leagues.

He also represented the Jays at the 2021 all-star game.

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“We began our off-season with the intent to add impact and length to our lineup,” Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “In adding Teoscar to an already solid foundation, we feel we’ve become a far more dangerous offensive club.”

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Hernandez is signed for one more year at US$10.65 million and is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2023 season.

Macko, a 21-year-old from Bratislava, Slovakia, made eight starts for advanced-A Everett in 2022, posting a 3.99 ERA while racking up 60 strikeouts across 38.1 innings. The No. 8 prospect in the Mariners organization was placed on the injured list on June 3, where he spent the remainder of the season.

The left-hander has made 26 minor league appearances (19 starts) across three seasons in the Mariners organization (2019, ’21-22), going 2-7 with a 3.98 ERA and 148 strikeouts.

Macko attended Vauxhall High School in Vauxhall, Alta., before he was selected in the seventh round of the MLB draft by the Mariners in 2019.

He has permanent resident status in Canada after living in Stony Plain, Alta., for six years. He was introduced to baseball in Grade 1 when he hit balls off a tee for the first time at his elementary school in Slovakia.

Macko’s family applied for a visa to Canada when Adam was 11 and they spent 16 months in Ireland in the interim so he and his sister could get a head start on the English language.

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He played bantam baseball in Spruce Grove when his family arrived in Alberta, then spent his high school days at Vauxhall.

“He didn’t throw very hard but he was ahead of the curve as far as his ability to pitch,” Vauxhall coach Les McTavish said after Macko was drafted. “He was maybe behind the curve in terms of velocity and physical development. But considering his background and where he came from, he was ahead of most Canadian kids let alone someone coming from his background.”

Swanson, a 29-year old from Fargo, N.D., pitched in 57 games for the Mariners last season, going 3-2 with a 1.68 earned-run average.

The six-foot-three right-hander has appeared in 126 career games (11 starts) across four major-league seasons all with Seattle (2019-22), going 4-12 with six saves and a 4.13 ERA, 34 walks and 166 strikeouts.

He made his MLB  debut with the Mariners on April 11, 2019 at Kansas City.

Swanson was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the eighth round of the 2014 MLB draft. After being traded to the New York Yankees, he was acquired by Seattle in 2018 as part of the deal that sent Canadian pitcher James Paxton to the Yankees.

&© 2022 The Canadian Press

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