When the Toronto Blue Jays swung a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals to acquire Génesis Cabrera, relief pitcher Trent Thornton found himself designated for assignment and likely on his way out the door of the only big league organization he's ever suited up for.
On Wednesday, ESPN's Jeff Passan broke the news that Thornton's time in the Jays system has indeed come to a close. Per Passan, the right-hander has been traded to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for minor league infielder Mason McCoy.
For the 29-year-old Thornton, a largely unsuccessful five-year run with the Blue Jays has come to an end. He began his professional career as a member of the Houston Astros before being shipped to Toronto in 2018 in exchange for Aledmys Díaz. He broke into the big leagues the very next season with the Jays, posting an ERA+ of 94 across 32 outings.
Unfortunately, he was never able to replicate this performance and had multiple stints in the minor leagues with nothing to show for it at the game's highest level. Perhaps he will be able to slot into the Mariners' organizational depth chart in a more productive way that he could with the Jays. Prior to the trade, Thornton had four big league appearances under his belt this year with a 1.69 ERA across 5.1 innings of work.
In McCoy, the Blue Jays are acquiring a power-hitting infielder who hits home runs, steals bases and can play all over the diamond on defense. The sixth-round pick of the Orioles back in 2017 has really found his power stroke in the past two years, as he hit 21 home runs (with nine being his previous career high) last seson and already has 11 in the current campaign.
In a total of 87 games for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate, the 28-year-old hit 18 doubles with 11 home runs, 55 RBI, 20 stolen bases and a .737 OPS. On defense, shortstop is his primary position but he also has extensive experience at second and third base as well as left and center field on the outfield grass.
The addition of McCoy will further round out the organizational depth in the middle infield. While the Blue Jays have a seemingly endless supply of young infielders in the minor leagues, this minor move could ultimately mean another deal is coming involving one of the other infielders around the high minors.