In an absolute stunner of a deal, the Toronto Blue Jays have acquired catcher/outfielder Daulton Varsho in exchange for Blue Jays No. 1 prospect Gabriel Moreno and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
All winter long, the Diamondbacks have vowed to deal from their outfield surplus and the Blue Jays said that a catcher is likely to be moved as well. Now, both teams seem to have not only filled a roster hole, but solved the logjam.
There is so, so, so much to unpack here. First, Varsho has emerged as one of the most exciting players in the game, showing off a solid bat, baserunning smarts and has taken to a transition to the outfield perfectly. He is one of the better defenders in the outfield in the whole league which says a lot because at this time last year he was strictly a catcher.
In 151 games last year for the Diamondbacks, Varsho hit 23 home runs, 27 home runs with 74 RBI, stole 16 bases and put up an OPS+ of 109.
On defense, he spent the majority of his time in center field and right field for Arizona. Statcast has him in the 99th-percentile in Outs Above Average, or OAA, while he is in the 97th-percentile in Outfield Jump. Point being, he is an excellent defensive outfielder who will slot in nicely to this new and improved Blue Jays lineup.
Moreno, 22, is going to be the lone deciding factor in whether this deal is a long-term win or loss for both clubs involved. He is the No. 1 prospect in the Blue Jays system per Baseball America and was widely expected to be the least likely of the three Jays catchers to be moved.
His first big league cameo came last year and saw him immediately impress both on the field and at the plate. In 25 games, Moreno went 22-for-69, good for a .319 average that he paired with a 111 OPS+.
Moreno is going to be the tougher pill to swallow for Jays fans between the two players heading to the desert.
Gurriel, 29, is playing on an expiring contract and will be an immediate replacement for Varsho in Arizona. He will wrap up his Blue Jays career with 468 games across five seasons, hitting 68 home runs and driving in 254 along the way. His career OPS+ is 117, labeling him as a well-above-average player.
The moving of Moreno finally puts the Blue Jays catching logjam to bed. The clear starter behind the dish moving forward will be Danny Jansen, who impressed the Blue Jays brass enough last year to warrant his being kept on the roster.
Alejandro Kirk, another young up-and-coming star for Toronto, is also sticking around. He will continue to get starts behind the plate for Toronto while functioning as the club's primary designated hitter. His bat can't be kept out of the lineup but he also is not quite the defender Jansen is.
What a shocker of a deal. Moreno is a huge piece to give up in any deal but here's to hoping that Varsho continues to get better as he has in each big league season so far. He is under team control through the 2026 season so Jays fans are going to get to see a ton of him in the upcoming years.
Believe me Jays fans, there is much more to come on this jaw-dropper of a trade.