Aug 30, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Brett Wallace (29) bats during the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Trade! For Brett Wallace. Again!

The Toronto Blue Jays brought back their old flame, 1B Brett Wallace, in a trade today with the Baltimore Orioles.  Brett Wallace, who will turn 28 in August, was considered by many to be the Blue Jays #1 prospect in 2010, the same season he was ranked the MLB’s #27 prospect by Baseball America.  As first reported by David Hall, who covers Baltimore’s AAA affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, the deal will send “cash considerations” back to the Orioles.


Brett Wallace embodies the age old baseball saying: prospects will break your heart.  Originally a 42nd Round pick by the Blue Jays in 2005, Wallace decided not to sign, and instead attended Arizona State where he would see his stock skyrocket.  Returning to the MLB Draft in 2008, Brett Wallace was selected 13th Overall to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wallace was traded three times within his first two professional seasons.  This could mean that three teams desperately wanted Wallace, but it is just as likely that three teams saw Wallace as expendable.  This can only be viewed with the benefit of hindsight, however, and it cannot be denied that many projected stardom for the young slugger.


July 2009:  STL trades Brett Wallace to OAK for Matt Holliday

December 2009:  OAK trades Brett Wallace to TOR for Michael Taylor (who had just been acquired in the Roy Halladay trade)

July 2010:  TOR trades Brett Wallace to HOU for Anthony Gose  (Admit it.  This excited you at the time)


Brett Wallace’s stock undoubtedly peaked with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, where he slashed .301 / .359 / .509 with 18HR and 61RBI over 95 games with the Las Vegas 51′s.  Blue Jays fans were left to imagine Wallace hitting in the heart of the order for the next decade, perhaps someday forming a powerful lefty battery with Travis Snider.  I’d love to go back in time and warn myself of the impending heartbreak, but, such is baseball.

Following his move to the Houston Astros, Brett Wallace was almost immediately promoted to the Major League roster, where he swung between struggles and greater struggles from 2010-2013.

2010 HOU 51 159 14 32 6 1 2 13 8 50 .222 .296 .319
2011 HOU 115 379 37 87 22 0 5 29 36 91 .259 .334 .369
2012 HOU 66 254 24 58 10 1 9 24 18 73 .253 .323 .424
2013 HOU 79 285 35 58 14 1 13 36 18 104 .221 .284 .431
4 Yrs 311 1077 110 235 52 3 29 102 80 318 .242 .313 .391
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/14/2014.


Before throwing another shovel full of soil onto Brett Wallace, it’s important to look at this deal within context.  An injury at the Major League level, such as Adam Lind‘s, can have a domino effect through the Jays Minor League affiliates.  With Dan Johnson joining the Blue Jays, a hole was created in the AAA Buffalo Bisons lineup.  This was quickly filled by AA New Hampshire call up 1B Mike McDade, furthering the ripple effect of a roster shuffle through the system.  Brett Wallace, as you may assume from his numbers, has been brought in as Minor League depth.  For such a low price, I commend Alex Anthopoulos for bringing in a familiar face who can help solidify the Bisons roster, while the Blue Jays continue to call up players by the handful.

If Brett Wallace surfaces on the 25-man roster this month, then yes, I think it’s safe to say that something has gone wrong.  The fall from Top Prospect in 2010 to being DFA’s by the Houston Astros (the Astros!) in early 2014 has not been glamorous for Brett Wallace.  Even though baseball prospects break your heart, a small flame of hope flickers (deep in the background) through their entire career, a hope that someday, it will finally “click”.  Remember, when Jose Bautista was 27 years old, he arrived in Toronto as a fringe-level body in the outfield.  Am I boldly drawing unearned comparisons to scrape some hope out of the Blue Jays down time?  You bet I am.

For the Toronto Blue Jays, there is not much to lose in this transaction (says a man who doesn’t write cheques for Rogers).  No prospects were lost, and the Blue Jays added a bat that shouldn’t impact the Major League team greatly, but will allow for some Minor League stability that will afford Alex Anthopoulos greater flexibility.  For the Toronto Blue Jays, a strangely-drawn circle has completed itself.  At the very least, Brett Wallace gives Jays fans a reason to keep a hopeful eye on the Minors, with expectations low, and hopes high of a late-blooming baseball story.  Dare to dream?

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Brett Wallace Toronto Blue Jays

  • shamefultofan

    Great move…gm of the year…

    • RyanMueller

      i sense some sarcasm….just some.

  • RyanMueller

    Brett main issue is his inability to work a walk. He will fit right in with the Jays who love to strike out. Say what you will about Dan Johnson, at least he can work the count and take a walk. You hit the nail on the head….this is a minor league move that provides the jays farm system with a warm body.

    • Keegan Matheson

      Pair the inability to take a walk with his numbers against LHP, and he’s a perfect fit. Don’t look at those lefty splits this morning, though, save them for later. I don’t want ruin your whole day.

      • RyanMueller

        I saw that yesterday right after I read your article. I think the guy could hit 15-20hr if he got a full season of AB….just like JPA he would strike out way too much, although I do think he would have a slightly better batting average….slightly

  • Ewan Brocklehurst

    SO in essence, Halladay (to the Phillies) and Syndegaard and Buck (to the Mets) for Drabek, Wallace, Gose, Dickey Thole and Nickeas. I consider D’Arnaud as a straight transfer from the Phillies to the Mets, so he is a wash. Halladay has retired and we still have six active players from this trade!

  • brad

    Maybe it’s just nostalgia but I have always had a feeling about Wallace. 2011 and 2012 he wasn’t actually all that bad for the Astros in the MLB. The guy rakes in the minors(except for this year…. which is his only year not in the PCL). I wonder if when the Jays traded him they saw something fixable in his swing….. only time will tell but I think he’s worth more than the nothing they gave up for him

    • Keegan Matheson

      Certainly hard to lose on a “cash” trade. Sometimes I wonder if you and I would even be able to hit .250 in the PCL. Some of the numbers that come out of that league are plain silly.

      • brad

        yeah… pretty glad the jays are in Buffalo now instead of Vegas

    • Andrew van Laar

      I just wish he was a RHB. AA seems to have a fetish for LH power bats lol

  • Wayne Cooper

    Why not bring back John Ford Griffin too? Lol

  • Wayne Cooper

    I wonder what Gabe Gross, and Ty Taubenheim are doing these days as well? John Hattig anyone? What about Shannon Withem? Lol…..this is fun.