Blue Jays acquire RHP Trent Thornton from Astros

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton from the Houston Astros in exchange for Infielder Aledmys Diaz, the team announced Saturday.

Thornton, 25, was a fifth-round pick of the Astros back in 2015 out of North Carolina. Coming into 2018, he was the 24th ranked prospect in Houston’s system.

This past season, the righty posted a 9-8 record with a 4.42 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 124 1/3 innings with Triple-A Fresno.

Thornton has a funky delivery but it gives him deception and doesn’t prevent him from filling the strike zone. With solid stuff and strike-throwing ability, he has the ingredients to become at least a No. 4 starter. But he often gets hit harder than he should, so his long-term role may be as a multi-inning reliever. – MLB Pipeline

Thornton also meddled with some milestones in 2018. He came just four outs shy of a no-hitter in June and managed to tie the PCL record for consecutive strikeouts with eight early in the campaign.

This trade comes just short of a year since the Jays acquired Diaz from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for J.B. Woodman.

The 28-year-old utility infielder was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Cardinals back in 2014. Across his three MLB seasons, he holds a career .275/.325/.458 slash line with 42 home runs, 140 RBIs, 77 walks, and 164 strikeouts.

With the Blue Jays in 2018, Diaz hit .263/.303/.453 with 26 doubles, 18 home runs, and 55 RBIs.

With the emergence of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – along with the impending arrivals of both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette – the Blue Jays had some expendable assets in the infield.

Along with Diaz, 2017 acquisition Yangervis Solarte could be another name that the Jays look to shop for prospects. There are also rumours that Toronto could designate the 31-year-old for assignment.

As the offseason progresses, the picture will become clearer for the Blue Jays, who will be looking to start a rebuild of sorts after two straight disappointing campaigns.

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