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GMs Ross Atkins and Mike Hazen share details on the Blue Jays/Diamondbacks trade

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After months of speculation and interest from various teams, the Diamondbacks finally traded one of their left-handed outfielders and the Blue Jays finally moved one of their receivers. The two clubs joined forces on Friday’s three-man deal, which saw the outfielder Daulton Varsho go to toronto in exchange for catcher Gabriel Moreno and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel a trade that checks a lot of boxes for both organizations.

Given how well the needs of the D’Backs and Jays fit together, it’s not a surprise that Toronto GM Ross Atkins said it was “since the beginning of the off season the dialogue started” between the two sides.

🇧🇷It was absolutely a great fit with the glut of outfielders, specifically left-handed attacking centers and us having a glut of receiving and the need for it.,” Atkins told reporters, including Scott Mitchell of TSN. 🇧🇷From the beginning, we felt that it would be a very important and fit team”.

The Blue Jays entered the winter with Moreno, Alejandro Kirkand Danny Jansen all lined up as options behind the plate, with Moreno (one of the hottest prospects in the game) looking set for extended listening after making his MLB debut with 25 games played in 2022. Though Varsho only has 283 MLB games under his belt, he was actually the most experienced of Arizona’s outer core – corbin carroll and Alek Thomas both made their big league debuts in 2022, and Jake McCarthy appeared in 123 games for the Diamondbacks over the past two seasons.

Varsho’s longer track record has seemingly made him the most sought-after player for interested teams, especially as the D’Backs have made Carroll (another elite prospect) virtually untouchable in trade negotiations. With the Diamondbacks intent to add “impact on this trade”, according to Arizona General Manager Mike Hazen, this need could not be met by just buying Thomas or McCarthy.

🇧🇷I think there was more certainty – and clearly, so are we – with Daulton’s performance up to this point in his career, and probably rightly so, that teams were willing to pay more for it. I don’t know if we would cross this divide any other way,” Hazen told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic and other reporters.

Teams such as the Yankees, Reds, White Sox, Athletics, Astros, Brewers, and Marlins were also linked to the Diamondbacks’ outfielders in the rumor mill, as both contenders and rebuilding teams had an interest in Arizona’s mix of manageable young players. Likewise, Toronto received many calls about their catchers, but reports suggested that the Blue Jays first wanted to wait and see where some other catchers in the free and commercial agent market landed. Once the Braves acquired Sean Murphy from oakland and once Willson Contreras (Cardinals) and Christian Vazquez (Twins) signed, the path is a little clearer for the D’Backs and Jays to line up on a trade.

Even so, Atkins said finding a match was tricky, as “all three catchers were of some interest to them and all of their outfielders were of some interest to us🇧🇷 The component that made this challenging is that we were both trying to consolidate more talent onto our Major League roster. They’re looking to step up obviously and push the envelope on the winning front and that’s why Lourdes Gurriel stepped in and made this business work.🇧🇷

Gurriel’s inclusion gives the D’Backs a veteran but not an old one (Gurriel is stepping into his 29-year-old outside presence) to join Carroll, McCarthy, Thomas and former AL Rookie Of The Year Kyle Lewis, which was acquired in another trade with the Mariners earlier this winter. 🇧🇷Hopefully the contact, the base, the hitting ability, the two-strike approach will serve to make our lineup even harder to tackle with the way some of these kids will run down the field. bases the way they did last year”, said Hazen. 🇧🇷I feel like a lot of this dynamic attack has a chance to be buffed🇧🇷

The Jays and Mariners trade represents Arizona’s biggest moves of the winter, as the D’Backs focused primarily on their bullpen with relatively lower-level plays like the signings of Miguel Castro and Scott McGough🇧🇷 Friday also saw the D’Backs complete another trade, bringing Diego Castillo from the Pirates to add more depth of field to the mix.

With Arizona still trying to bounce back after three straight losing seasons, the Blue Jays are in a different position as a club looking to compete for the World Series in 2023. After a disappointing collapse against Seattle in the Wild Card Series, the Jays have been aggressive when signing with the right hand Chris Bassit to a three-year, $63 million contract, signing Kevin Kiermaier to a one-year contract, and negotiate Teoscar Hernandez to sailors to Erik Swanson and prospecting Adam Macko🇧🇷

Now that the Jays finally pulled the trigger on a catcher trade, Atkins said, “I think our hard work is over” for the rest of the offseason, although the front office is “certainly not ruling anything out and would expect some incremental improvements🇧🇷 Varsho and Kiermaier are left-handed hitters, and therefore the Blue Jays will “we try to improve our team by subtracting Gurriel, but in our view it doesn’t need to be right-handed or left-handed, it’s more about the impact and the fit beyond that🇧🇷