Toronto Blue Jays Press Conference

Earlier this afternoon, it was announced that the Toronto Blue Jays have traded Aaron Hill and John McDonald to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Kelly Johnson. Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos, along with Hill and McDonald spoke to the media about the trade. Bullet points are provided after the jump.

Here’s what’s being said:

Alex Anthopoulos:

  • I know for the fans this will be a tough one.
  • I have not ruled out either player being back here in 2012.
  • Kevin Towers contacted me, looking to make changes, asked about John McDonald, and then Aaron Hill’s name came up.
  • Talks started several weeks ago.
  • McDonald asked to be moved to a playoff team if possible so he could experience it and so he could bring that experience back to the Blue Jays.
  • Kelly Johnson is obviously not having his best year.
  • He’s a left handed bat, draws walks, has some power to all fields.
  • This gives Blue Jays a chance to get a good look at Johnson.
  • Brian Jeroloman fills the empty roster space so as not to¬†halt¬†development time of other prospects.

John McDonald:

  • I’m extremely conflicted.
  • Looking forward to a great opportunity to play in postseason.
  • The playoffs are what every ball player wakes up in the morning thinking about.
  • Hopes to come back next year, but postseason opportunity is something he’s felt he’s been missing.
  • I think we were able to leave a lot behind. Had great talks with young players about the city, organization and future chances of winning.
  • I can only gain from this situation as a player and in the future as a coach.
  • Kirk Gibson was my hitting coach during my short stint in Detroit. Spoke with him earlier by phone.

Aaron Hill:

  • I can’t thank everybody enough for everything.
  • This is a little tough. This is all I’ve known.
  • It’s been a blast. I’m very open to coming back next year.
  • I do believe this team will win. Whether I’m a part of that or not, I’ll be rooting for them.