They pulled off a 10-player trade last week with the Houston Astros, but apparently Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos hadn’t finished working the phones.
On Monday night, the Jays sent outfielder and fan favourite Travis Snider to the Pittsburgh Pirates for right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln, then dealt outfielder Eric Thames to the Seattle Mariners for right-hander Steve Delabar. Thames and Delabar don’t need to do any travelling to connect with their new teams: Toronto is in Seattle for a three-game series which began on Monday, and the Thames-for-Delabar trade was announced a short time after the Jays lost to the Mariners 4-1.
The Snider-for-Lincoln trade was even more unusual. The 24-year-old left fielder had been removed from the game in the sixth inning, with Yan Gomes taking his spot on the field and in the batting order. Naturally, the buzz started on why manager John Farrell made the move, and almost immediately the speculation centered on a trade to the Chicago Cubs for starting pitcher Matt Garza which turned out to be false.
A short time later with the game still in progress, TV cameras showed Snider shaking hands and hugging teammates in the dugout after being told the news of his move to the National League club. Blue Jays TV play-by-play commentator Buck Martinez was among the first to break the trade news publicly. Predictably, Twitter exploded: results for Snider, Lincoln and Thames all trended at the top of the Twitterverse on Monday night.
The Mariners weren’t done, either. They sent reliever Brandon League to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two prospects: outfielder Leon Landry and right-hander Logan Bawcom. The Chicago Cubs were also busy on Monday night, first sending catcher Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers for a pitcher (believed to be Double-A hurler Jacob Brigham, but the Cubs did not confirm the deal by the time this story was posted). Soto was removed from Chicago’s game against the Pirates in the 7th inning as the Cubs went on to pummel Pittsburgh 14-4. Chicago followed that deal by trading right-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to the Atlanta Braves for young pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman.
The Jays and Cubs deals were among several which took place late on Monday night before the deadline of Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern time; players who are traded after that point will all have to clear waivers first. To get the latest news, rumours and opinions on deals, go to the hashtag #TradeDeadline.