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.

Comments (12)

  1. I’m ambivalent about the trade, but I loved what Johnny Mac was saying (in regards to coming back one day). Both guys seemed to handle it really well.

  2. I don’t really understand this deal from the diamondbacks perspective. Kelly Johnson is ranked higher in the Elias rankings, even if he is struggling right now it’s not like Aaron Hill is going to provide more value than he does the rest of the season for a playoff push. I get it from Toronto’s perspective, they get a month long look at a player they’ve liked for awhile, if they don’t see a future in him they let him go as an FA and get a comp pick, and possibly resign Aaron Hill who seems open to coming back.

  3. Also how does Kelly Johnson, one year removed from a 5+ fWAR season who’s only making 5.85 million this year, clear waivers?

  4. out of the two there is no doubt in my mind that:

    1) johnson is more likely to rebound and become an avg to above avg player.

    2) I am more comfortable offering johnson arb. Hill would be crazy to turn it down. I could see johnson topping 5-6M$ through free agency. I don’t think either player could get much of a raise, if any.

  5. Johnson’s only hitting .208? A bunch of GMs are still stuck in the stone ages or are Ned Colletti.

    Anyways, let’s hope that Johnny Mac learns what it means to be a winner in Arizona (or at least makes the playoffs; sorry Parkes), comes back to the Jays, plays a sick backup infield like he always does, and helps lead our team of trade acquisitions and scrap-heap pickups to the promised land. Or maybe a third-place finish behind the Red Sox and Yankees. One can dream!

  6. This is another awesome trade for AA IMO. Hill was a risky arbitration offer this offseason and he’s put that burden on the D-Backs with the potential of re-signing Hill should he choose to do so in the offseason. He gets Johnson who is a safer arb offer.

    Basically, there’s potential here to bring back Hill on the cheap AND still get the arbitration pick. If it works out that way, it’s flipping brilliant.

    And I have to think that Johnny Mac will be back if he wants to be.

  7. Genius ! Johnson is Type B in the NL and is/was pretty close to type A (although falling due to his crappy play of late)
    This could be a copy of the Olivio trade !

  8. Certainly sounds like Johnny Mac wants to be back based on his quotes AND Anthopolous’ quotes. “Bring that experience back to the Jays”. It’s almost like Arizona said, “hey we need some defensive replacement help, he’s good, and if he wants to go back to Toronto, that’s ok with us.” Hmm, guess this works.

    I hope Hill does well in Arizona. He wasn’t going to get back to being the hitter he was in Toronto, but I feel he truly was a change of scenery guy. New hitting coach, new start should only help him. NL West pitching… maybe not so much.

  9. Fortunately this isn’t an earth shaking move because I’m only good for one of those per day. However, a quick piece over at fangraphs notes that there is still value gained for Toronto through this deal.

    The jays would have certainly declined Hill’s options and doing so would have cost the team a $1 million buy out payment. The Jays also receive a player who is far more likely to decline an arbitration offer if he becomes a free agent. The Jays have six weeks to evaluate Kelly Johnson from close range and determine if he merits a long term role on this team.

  10. Now I’ve got someone to cheer for in the playoffs. Johnny Mac that is. I think the Jays know that Hill is done and will never return to form. Hopefully Johnson’s just having a blip year but if not I don’t see any huge risk here.

  11. We get rid of probably our weakest part on the feild for potential upside? Seems like a win for us. Bring Johnny Mac though. I am devestated hes gone… for now.

  12. I don’t get it! John wants out, and Hill got dragged along…. I like Johnny Mc and all, but is it fair for Hill? I don’t get the feeling Hill wants out of the Jays. Where’s the heart? Ahh! What do I know about baseball… business of professional baseball that is…. I’ll stick to watching little league baseball for now. Go Canada!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *