Blue Jays, Tigers busy at MLB trade deadline

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Both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers were maneuvering at Monday afternoon’s trade deadline.

With both clubs having an outside chance at making the playoffs in a pandemic-shortened 60-game season, Toronto and Detroit each pulled a trigger. The date of August 31 is usually the trade deadline for players required to clear waivers first, but that rule was abolished last season, now leaving the deadline date for all trades.

On Monday, the Jays acquired pitcher Robbie Ray and cash considerations from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for reliever Travis Bergen.

Next,¬†The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal reported that Toronto also picked up infielder Jonathan Villar from the Miami Marlins for a player to be named later.

Toronto then ended its day with its acquisition of pitcher Ross Stripling from the Los Angeles Dodgers, for two players to be named later.

According to MLB.com Blue Jays beat reporter Keegan Matheson, Toronto gets a high-strikeout pitcher in Ray, though he has had a rough go with Arizona this season. Ray’s acquisition will help address issues in the Jays’ rotation. Bergen was in his second tour-of-duty with Toronto, who drafted him in 2015. He was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons at the beginning of the year but had made the big-league roster.

Villar is known for his infield defence as well as his speed on the basepaths. As of Monday, Villar had 210 career stolen bases. Matheson reported that Villar, a second baseman, may play shortstop while Bo Bichette is out nursing a sprained knee.

Stripling had played his entire MLB career for the Dodgers, with a career earned-run average of 3.49 through the end of July 2020. He had struggled this season in Los Angeles, allowing a high number of home runs.

The Tigers also made a move at the deadline, sending outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for infield prospect Zack Short.

Tigers beat reporter Jason Beck of MLB.com¬†said it’s the fourth trade involving Maybin since the Tigers took him with its first pick in 2005. This completed his third stint with Detroit, having been picked up before the 2020 season to bring a veteran presence to a team that lost 114 games last season.

Short finished the 2019 season at the Cub’s Triple-A affiliate at Iowa, having hit .235 with six home runs and 25 runs batted in across three minor-league levels. He will be assigned to Detroit’s alternate training site at Triple-A Toledo.

The Tigers also claimed pitcher Dereck Rodriguez off waivers from the San Francisco Giants and optioned him to Toledo. The 28-year-old is the son of Hall-of-Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who played for the Tigers from 2004 to 2008.