Astros land Aledmys Diaz in trade from Blue Jays, giving them a potential utility infield option
Minor-league pitcher Trent Thornton goes to the Blue Jays in return
The Astros might lose utility man Marwin Gonzalez in free agency. If so, perhaps they now have insurance in the form of former All-Star Aledmys Diaz. The Astros announced they acquired Diaz on Saturday from the Blue Jays for Triple-A pitcher Trent Thornton in a one-for-one swap.
Diaz, 28, had an unexpected breakout season in 2016 as a rookie. He hit .300/.369/.510 (134 OPS+) with 17 homers and 65 RBI in 111 games during an All-Star season. Since then, though, he's been a major disappointment. In 2017-18 combined, he hit .261/.298/.428 (95 OPS+). He did hit 18 homers in 422 at-bats last season, so there's some power. Some might see the September numbers (.311/.369/.500) or second-half numbers (.290/.333/.523) and get excited as well.
Diaz has mostly played shortstop in his career and obviously Carlos Correa has that held down. He's also played some third base (Alex Bregman) and second (Jose Altuve). He has nine innings in left field as well, so, again, maybe Marwin Gonzalez is the model. He started out as a utility infielder and ended up playing only outfield in 2018.
Thornton, 25, was 9-8 with a 4.42 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 122 strikeouts in 124 1/3 Triple-A innings last season. He pitched to a 4.02 ERA in 15 2/3 innings with 20 strikeouts against four walks in the Arizona Fall League. He's mostly been a starter, but he could end up impacting the Blue Jays' bullpen in 2019.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
How do things look after the MLB winter meetings? Not too much different
The Blue Jays should try to cash in on their veteran trade pieces, including Marcus Stroma...
Let's have a look at Sunday's offseason MLB rumors
Here's how you can keep tabs on the top 50 free agents on the market
The Mets have their starting catcher
The thrifty Rays are more active this offseason after a 90-win campaign