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Blue Jays acquire Taijuan Walker from Mariners

One of the top names on this watered-down trade market comes off the board.

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The Blue Jays have acquired right-handed starter Taijuan Walker from the Mariners for a player to be named later, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal was the first to report on Thursday. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has since confirmed the deal. The teams are working around the 2020 rule which prevents players not in an organization’s 60-man player pool from being traded, and a minor-leaguer will be officially sent to the Mariners once the season is complete.

Walker, who just turned 28, is having a solid bounce-back season after being limited to four starts over the past two years due to injuries. After being dealt to the Diamondbacks following the 2016 season, Walker returned to the organization that drafted him this offseason, and he’s responded by posting a 4.00 ERA with an impressive 1.07 WHIP, 25 strikeouts, and eight walks over five starts (27 innings).

It feels like the Blue Jays are still at least a year or two away from having a chance to contend for the AL East title or make a deep run in October, but they’re surprising buyers with expanded playoffs this year. At 15-14, they have 74.3% postseason odds according to Baseball Reference and would earn the last AL wild card spot if the season ended today.