5. Aaron Loup Trade to Phillies for Jacob Waguespack
At the time of the trade, July 31, 2018, the 30-year-old Loup was the longest-tenured Blue Jay, posting a a career 3.47 ERA in 369 games with Toronto from 2012 to 2018. Loup had signed a one-year, $1.8MM contract with the Jays just prior to the 2018 season. Waguespack was then 24 years old, with a projectable frame at 6 foot 6, having posted a 4.68 ERA in 21 games in the Phillies minor league system, though at the time he was not ranked among Philadelphia’s Top 30 Prospects per MLB Pipeline.
Aaron Loup – After stints with the Phillies and Padres, Loup signed with the Rays in 2020, posting an ERA of 2.52 over 24 appearances, and pitching in the ALDS and ALCS to help the Rays advance to the World Series. Loup then had a career year in 2021 at 33 years old, appearing in 65 games for the Mets. His 0.95 ERA was the best by any pitcher with at least 50 innings in 2021. In November of 2021, Loup was signed to a two-year, $17MM deal by the Angels.
Jacob Waguespack– Now 28, Waguespack made 13 starts for the 2019 Jays, with a 4.38 ERA, an 18.8% strikeout rate and an 8.7% walk rate over 78 innings. In 2020, his ERA was 8.15 over 17.2 innings with the Jays, and he spent all of 2021 in AAA Buffalo. In December of 2021, Waguespack signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Note: To assess the merits of these trades properly, financial considerations pertaining to the club’s broader business strategy would be weighed (e.g., cap space, the value of multiple years of contractual control typically attached to a minor league prospect vs. the projected cost and contract term of an established major leaguer, the need to preserve flexibility for future commitments, the need for a new training facility in Dunedin, renovations to Rogers Center, etc.). Many of these considerations are private and largely inaccessible, and while not included in this discussion, presumably are of at least some significance in the organization’s decision-making process around player transactions.