Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Arizona Diamondbacks
For both Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., their performances with their new ballclub will forever be linked to the huge trade made by Jays’ GM Ross Atkins in the acquisition of defensive specialist Daulton Varsho. The more impact and production they end up providing for the Diamondbacks, the more painful it would probably feel for the Jays’ faithful.
During the 2023 MLB regular season, as many would have predicted, both Moreno and Gurriel would become key contributors to the Diamondbacks’ offensive attack, as they combined for 98 runs scored, 54 doubles, 31 home runs, 132 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Moreno also hit for a strong average at .284 in his rookie season with the ballclub, along with displaying exceptional defence, throwing out almost 40% of the base stealers while posting a 20 DRS. Meanwhile, Gurriel was even named to the 2023 MLB All-Star Game, as well as providing elite defence with 14 DRS and eight outfield assists.
More importantly, Moreno has been a monster during the 2023 playoffs, with three home runs and six RBI, along with a .250 average and 1.107 OPS in just five games played heading into the NLCS. Gurriel, on the other hand, has made up for his underwhelming performance in the NL Wild Card series by going 4-for-13 with one double, one home run and three RBI during the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both players did their part in helping the Diamondbacks sweep both of their opponents in their first two playoff series.
As each day goes by, it appears more and more that they are providing the much-needed impact to convert the Diamondbacks into postseason powerhouses. As they continue to march ahead and run the gauntlet in the 2023 playoffs with the Philadelphia Phillies currently up next, it may end up to be something that the Blue Jays severely regret.