Blue Jays: Top ten trades made by general manager Ross Atkins
8. July 28th, 2019
Blue Jays receive: LHP Anthony Kay and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson
New York Mets receive: RHP Marcus Stroman
One of the top pitching prospects to come out of the Jays organization in the past decade, fiery right-hander Marcus Stroman was not silent when it came to his feelings about the Blue Jays front office. After a war of words between both sides, Atkins and co. eventually shipped Stroman off to the Mets and the Jays acquired two top prospects in Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson.
At the time of the trade, it seemed like the club had sold low, as other starting pitchers traded at the deadline like Madison Bumgarner had yielded more prospects in return. At the time of the deal, both SWR and Kay were ranked in the top ten of Mets prospects and were both #1 and #2 when it came to pitching prospects within the New York organization. Richardson was further down the minor league ladder in A ball while the southpaw was close to the MLB stage and in AAA at the time.
Kay is still with the organization but has struggled to find a spot on the active roster, making his MLB debut back in 2019 and throwing to a 5.50 ERA through 27 games (seven starts) with a 9.7 K/9 and a 1.631 WHIP since then. Woods-Richardson on the other hand was traded at the deadline last season to Minnesota, which left a sour taste in the Jays fan’s mouths as he was one of the top pitching prospects in the organization at the time of the trade.
While he started strong in AA, SWR struggled through a good portion of June and most of July, yielding 23 earned runs through 20.1 innings pitched. He would go on to join the United States at the Tokyo Olympics last summer and upon his return, was a member of the Twins. He finished out the year in their AA affiliate but continued to struggle, finishing with a 6.75 ERA through four appearances.
At the time of the Stroman trade, his social media presence and drama between the front office had rubbed some fans the wrong way. Some were happy to see him go while others were going to miss his on-the-field production, a 3.76 ERA through six years with the Blue Jays that included two postseason runs, a return from a torn ACL, one All-Star appearance, and a Gold Glove Award. He recently signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Cubs prior to the lockout.
Coming in at #8, this trade did net the Blue Jays two top prospects while also dealing Stroman, who depending on who you ask, gets mixed reviews and results when it comes to popularity in Toronto.
Kay is still a part of the Jays organization but is in a tough spot when it comes to finding a role on the current roster. SWR has seen a fall from grace and was also used for a trade that you will see further down the list. Potential for this trade to move in rankings once SWR and Kay develop a bit more (could go up or down depending on which player) but for now, it sits comfortably here at eighth.