Seattle has traded Taijuan Walker to Toronto.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are mashing for the Toronto Blue Jays, but everyone north of the border knew they needed another starting pitcher to take some of the pressure off of Hyun-Jin Ryu as the 2020 season speeds towards a conclusion. Toronto found their ideal target in Seattle Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker, whom they were able to acquire for pennies on the dollar.
Walker was traded to Toronto in exchange for a player to be named later. While teams were only allowed to make trades with players in their 60-man player pool, exceptions can be made for players to be named later.
Taijuan Walker is still effective, but he is a major injury risk
There were rumors that the New York Yankees were going to swoop in for Walker after an injury to James Paxton, but their AL East rivals ended up snagging him first.
Walker broke into the majors with Seattle at the age of 20, and he impressed, putting up a 4.18 ERA in 62 starts between 2013 and 2017. Walker was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the same trade that sent Ketel Marte to Phoenix and Mitch Haniger to Seattle, and he pitched there for three seasons before resigning with Seattle. Walker has a 4.00 ERA in five starts this season, as he was one of the lone bright spots on a rebuilding Mariners team.
While Walker’s solid breaking balls make him a reliable option when healthy, his durability could come back to bite Toronto. Walker has been in the MLB for seven seasons, and he’s topped five starts in just three of those seasons. Since 2018, Walker has made just nine starts,
While Walker isn’t going to singlehandedly change Toronto’s championship hopes, he could be a high-ceiling No. 2 starter for a team looking to sneak into the expanded playoffs. For a player to be named later that’s not a terrible trade for the Jays.