Blue Jays acquire slugger Varsho from Diamondbacks for top prospect Moreno, Gurriel Jr.

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired outfielder Daulton Varsho from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and catcher Gabriel Moreno.

Former Arizona outfielder hit 27 home runs in 2021, gives Toronto left-handed bat

A batter looks up after connecting on a hit.
The Toronto Blue Jays acquired outfielder Daulton Varsho (12) on Friday from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and catcher Gabriel Moreno. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired slugger Daulton Varsho from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday in exchange for fellow outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and catcher Gabriel Moreno.

Varsho gives the Blue Jays a much-needed left-handed power bat but his addition came at a significant cost. Moreno is one of the top prospects in the game and Gurriel is an everyday outfielder.

The versatile Varsho hit a career-high 27 homers last season and was a Gold Glove finalist in right field and as a utility player. He also spent some time in centre field and made 18 starts as a catcher.

Varsho drove in 74 runs, stole 16 bases and hit .235 over 151 games in 2022. The 26-year-old native of Marshfield, Wi., is under team control for four years.

Gurriel, 29, is a five-year veteran set to become a free agent after next season. He hit .291 in an injury-plagued campaign with five homers and 32 doubles.

Moreno, 22, made his big-league debut last year with the Blue Jays, hitting .319 with a homer in 69 at-bats. Toronto was deep at the catcher position with all-star Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen.

Toronto (92-70) finished seven games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East last season. The Blue Jays have been busy retooling since they were swept by the Seattle Mariners in the wild-card round.

Toronto shipped slugger Teoscar Hernandez to the Mariners last month for reliever Erik Swanson. The Blue Jays also signed outfielder Kevin Kiermaier and starting pitcher Chris Bassitt.

Varsho was among a group of young, talented outfielders on the Diamondbacks, who were 74-88 last season. Arizona is trying to compete in the NL West with the big-spending Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.

Moreno and Gurriel are both right-handed hitters, which allows Arizona to balance its left-handed heavy lineup.

Gurriel is the brother of Astros slugger Yuli Gurriel. Varsho is the son of former big-league outfielder Gary Varsho.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Diamondbacks designated catcher Ali Sanchez for assignment.

Also Friday, left-hander Anthony Kay was claimed off outright waivers by the Chicago Cubs. The Blue Jays had designated Kay for assignment on Dec. 16.

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