The Toronto Blue Jays may or may not be very active during the weeks leading up to the Major League Baseball trade deadline, depending on who you ask. However, a few former members of the team seem to be moving around in the early stages leading up to the deadline.
The Arizona Diamondbacks released veteran Eric Hinske on Thursday, and the Reno Gazette-Journal reports that he is expected to retire. Hinske was one of two members of the Toronto Blue Jays to win the Rookie of the Year award (Alfredo Griffin was the other), taking home the award in 2002 while hitting .279 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI, both career-highs. He spent five seasons playing for the Blue Jays, accumulating a .259 average with 78 home runs, 313 RBI, and a OPS of .774 with Toronto.
A veteran of 12 seasons, Hinske had been relegated to a utility-man in recent seasons, playing for Atlanta, Boston, Arizona, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and the New York Yankees in the process. He’ll retire with a career batting average of .249 with 137 home runs, 522 RBI, and career OPS of .762.
Also in relation to the Diamondbacks, Arizona signed former Blue Jays reliever Shawn Camp (H/T to MLB Trade Rumors). Camp spent 4 seasons in Toronto and was an integral part of the bullpen from 2008 through 2011, making 236 appearances in a Blue Jays uniform and posting a 3.63 ERA.
Camp had been released by the Chicago Cubs on July 9th.
Finally, we have the rumor mill churning. Former Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios appears to be in high demand as the deadline approaches. The latest rumor, courtesy of our buddy Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, has the Pittsburgh Pirates interested in adding the reborn Rios as an upgrade in right field. Interestingly enough, one of the players he would be an upgrade over would be another former Blue Jays, Travis Snider.
The 32-year-old is hitting .270 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI for the White Sox, who were arguably rewarded for taking the risk and claiming Rios and his 5-year, $59.7 million contract off waivers in 2009. Now they stand to gain a bit by moving his bat at the deadline, especially coming off a career year in 2012.
So hey, maybe all these former Blue Jays moving around will get Anthopoulos in the mood to make some deals. Maybe?