Dualton Varsho has been the latest addition to the Blue Jays roster, coming a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks for OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and C Gabriel Moreno. The Jays had an excess of talent at the catcher position, so letting go of top prospect Moreno seemed inevitable. Getting a star like Daulton Varsho in return seems like an ideal scenario.
Varsho was a Gold Glove Finalist and All-MLB Finalist last year, replacing Teoscar Hernandez who was sent to the Seattle Mariners in return for some added firepower in the pitching department. The 26-year old, is a lefty-hitting outfielder, which was the one missing piece to the Blue Jays offseason pickups.
Arguably, the main plus of getting Varsho is that he heavily bolsters the Jays defense. Last season, his 18 Outs Above Average led all MLB outfielders and was ranked fourth among all positions. He will most likely play left field and create an intimidating starting lineup with the likes of José Berríos, Danny Jansen, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Whit Merrifield, Matt Chapman and Kevin Kiermaier.
It should be noted that Varsho also has the potential to play behind the plate. In 2022, he started 18 games as Catcher and was back there for 37 starts in 2021. Varsho is one of just five players in MLB history that has done 30-plus games behind the plate and 90-plus in the outfield in one season.
This offseason has seen some radical change for the Blue Jays. They have now traded away offense in Hernández, Moreno and Gurriel, in exchange for a much improved outfield defense and relief pitching. Overall the Jays now look to have a much more defensive outlook than last season, which was much more geared to their high power offense.
Toronto probably isn’t done quite yet in offseason acquisitions. They still need a capable fourth outfielder to join Varsho, Kiermaier and Springer. Expect a few more shuffles in the lineup before the start of season.
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