P Trent Thornton
Similar to Hatch, right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton had received plenty of opportunities of his own to shine with the Jays after coming over from Houston in a trade that sent Aledmys Díaz to the Astros during the 2018-19 offseason. He was even able to produce a decent season with glimpses of potential with the Jays in 2019 when he amassed a 6-9 record with a 4.84 ERA and 149 strikeouts in 154.1 innings pitched in 32 games (including 29 starts).
In spite of that, his career path would follow along the same trajectory as Hatch as Thornton failed to maintain a permanent major league gig by bouncing around between the minors and the big league club in the past three seasons. In 2023, Thornton actually posted his best ERA ever with the ballclub with a 1.69 ERA in four brief appearances in June. But his tenure with the Jays finally came to an end when he was dealt at the trade deadline to the Seattle Mariners for infielder Mason McCoy.
INF Mason McCoy
Speaking of McCoy! At the time, Thornton had been designated for assignment by the Jays, so they were likely looking to recoup an asset rather than risk losing him for nothing. Despite being a career minor leaguer, McCoy had shown some promise with his bat and speed with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers in 2022 when he hit .256 with an .805 OPS, along with 23 doubles, 21 home runs, 63 RBI and 22 stolen bases.
After joining the Jays, he was optioned to Buffalo to bolster their minor league infield depth. But surprisingly, when Bo Bichette landed back on the IL in late August, it was McCoy who got the call up to the big league club over some of the other more notable Jays’ infield prospects. Best known for his defensive glove and speed on the basepaths, it gave him the upper hand as a solid late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-running option. That was exactly how he ended up being utilized by the Jays in the six games of action he managed to get into. He scored two runs over those six games before eventually being designated for assignment in late September in favour of Cam Eden, which the Jays later included on their playoff roster. McCoy became a minor league free agent following the end of the season and has since signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.