Blue Jays 2023 trade deadline retrospective: Were the deals worth it?

Looking back to last year’s trade deadline, how have the moves that the Jays made turned out?
Pittsburgh Pirates v Toronto Blue Jays
Pittsburgh Pirates v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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With the 2024 MLB trade deadline gradually approaching in a little less than two months away, the Toronto Blue Jays will likely be a major part of the action once again this year. However, one unknown aspect of it will be are they deadline buyers or sellers this time around?

With that tough decision still up in the air, let’s revisit the bold trade deadline moves that the Jays made from 2023 and how they have ultimately impacted the teams and players involved.

Blue Jays trade catcher Sammy Hernandez to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Génesis Cabrera.

In need of some bullpen help, the Jays acquired the once-promising reliever Génesis Cabrera after he was designated for assignment by the Cardinals. In getting Cabrera, the Jays added a second lefty to their relief corps alongside Tim Mayza, along with some boost in firepower to their back end of the bullpen.

Cabrera was solid for the Jays down the stretch in 2023, going 1-0 with a 2.66 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, together with 20 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched in 29 appearances. However, this season has been a completely different story as Cabrera has struggled with his command, posting a 2-2 record with an ugly 5.48 ERA and 1.78 WHIP, giving up 14 earned runs, 13 walks and 15 strikeouts in just 23 innings of work.

For Sammy Hernandez, he has flourished since moving to the Cardinals’ organization. This season with their Single-A affiliate Palm Beach, Hernandez has hit a solid .313 with an .816 OPS, along with 11 doubles and 20 RBI in 39 games. He has also improved his plate discipline, reducing his 2.5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio from last season down to about 1.5:1 this year.

Who is the winner?

The Jays would clearly be the winners as of last season, as Cabrera helped stabilize the bullpen and ultimately played a key role in taking the team to the playoffs. However, with his stark regression this season, along with the improved play of Hernandez (even though it was just Single-A), if Cabrera is unable to rediscover his game, it could slowly tilt towards the Cardinals’ favor in the long run.