Blue Jays trade Aaron Sanchez to Astros in 4-player deadline deal

Jul 31 2019, 8:48 pm

The Toronto Blue Jays fire sale continued on MLB trade deadline day.

Not long before the 4 pm ET / 1 pm PT deadline, the Blue Jays sent pitchers Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini, as well as outfielder Cal Stevenson to the Houston Astros, in exchange for 25-year-old left fielder Derek Fisher.

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The move was the second of the day for the Blue Jays, who also traded relief pitcher Daniel Hudson to the Washington Nationals for pitching prospect Kyle Johnston.

Sanchez, 27, had a boom/bust run with the Blue Jays. A key relief pitcher during the team’s return to the postseason in 2015, he became the ace of the team’s staff in 2016. He posted a 3.00 ERA in 30 starts that season with a remarkable 15-2 record – good for the best win-loss percentage in the American League. That earned him an All-Star nod at just age 24, so naturally he was thought to have a bright future.

But since 2017, Sanchez’s career has gone off the rails, in part due to a bizarre nagging blister issue on his finger. He’s on track to have the worst season of his career in 2019 and has a 8-23 win/loss record from 2017-2019.

Biagini, 29, was tried out as a starter in 2017 but never found success in that role. He’s been a reliever for the majority of his tenure with the Blue Jays, which spans four seasons.

Stevenson is a 22-year-old outfielder that has yet to make his big league debut since being drafted by the Blue Jays in the 10th round of the MLB Draft in 2018.

In Fisher, the Blue Jays get a 25-year-old left fielder with three years of MLB experience, though he has spent more time in Triple-A during that span. He has a .226 batting average, with one home run, five RBIs, and a .317 on-base percentage in just 17 games for the Astros this season.

The return in this deal is underwhelming in the eyes of many fans, considering that Sanchez alone would have returned a huge haul not long ago. Clearly, his stock has plummeted since then and the Jays wanted to move on.