SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners have traded for All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernández in exchange for a relief pitcher and a minor league pitcher, a move to bolster one of the team's weaker spots in the lineup.
The Mariners sent right-handed reliever Erik Swanson and left-handed starter Adam Macko for Hernández, the Mariners confirmed in a tweet Wednesday morning.
“What I see that this team is capable of, it's pretty awesome,” Hernández said. “And now being a part of that it's pretty exciting for me.”
Hernández hit .267 with 25 home runs and 77 RBIs in 131 games last season for the Blue Jays and joined Mookie Betts as the only outfielders in baseball with at least 35 doubles and 25 homers. He totaled 2.8 wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference.
Hernández was named to his first All-Star team in 2021, a season in which he thumped 32 home runs and drove in 116 runs. The 29-year-old has hit 121 home runs in his last five seasons.
“We began our offseason with the intent to add impact and length to our lineup,” said Jerry Dipoto, the Mariners' president of baseball operations. “In adding Teoscar to an already solid foundation, we feel we’ve become a far more dangerous offensive club.”
The 29-year-old is a free agent after the 2023 season.
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said the groundwork for the trade was begun during the general manager meetings last week in Las Vegas and there were “three or four teams” with a significant interest in Hernández.
Hernández primarily played right field for Toronto in 2022, but he has experience playing left field and center field in his seven-year career.
The Mariners started Mitch Haniger 45 times in right field last season. Sam Haggerty started another 24 games and the struggling Jarred Kelenic chipped in with 20 starts in 2022.
Hernández will team up with rookie phenom Julio Rodriguez in the Mariners outfield in the upcoming season, which will begin March 30, 2023.
“The important thing for us was that we had a chance to add what we felt like was an impact bat and we didn’t want to let that chance go away quickly, particularly at this stage of the offseason,” Seattle general manager Justin Hollander said.
Swanson, who struck out 34% of batters and walked fewer than 5%, had a 1.68 earned run average for the Mariners last year while Macko pitched in the High-A minor leagues.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Download our free KING 5 app to stay up-to-date on news stories from across western Washington.