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Teoscar Hernandez open to return to Blue Jays: 'I'm not going to say no'

Teoscar Hernandez doesn't seem to hold any ill will toward the Blue Jays after an offseason trade sent him to the Mariners.

Teoscar Hernandez was a fan favourite during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays thanks to his on-field production, flair for the dramatic and infectious personality.

The outfielder became an All-Star during his six years in Toronto but was traded to the Seattle Mariners in the offseason deal that sent high-leverage reliever Erik Swanson north of the border.

Despite the abrupt exit from the franchise, Hernandez doesn't seem to hold any ill will toward the Blue Jays and would be open to a return should there be a fit at the Aug. 1 trade deadline or in free agency this winter.

"For me, I'm not going to say no because I'm not like that," Hernandez said during an interview on Sportsnet 590's Blair and Barker on Friday, just hours before delivering a walk-off single in Seattle's 3-2 victory over Toronto. "I thank the Blue Jays a lot and if I have the opportunity to come back, I will. But I think that is not in my hands."

Mariners slugger Teoscar Hernandez isn't ruling out a return to the Blue Jays. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Mariners slugger Teoscar Hernandez isn't ruling out a return to the Blue Jays. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The 30-year-old still has nothing but love for Toronto, where he hit 129 homers with an .823 OPS in 609 games.

"It was great. I don't regret anything," Hernandez said. "I have a lot of appreciation for the team, for the people over there, the fans and everybody that took care of me when I got there. It was awesome. My family loved it, I loved it.

"They have a special group over there and fans that love the game. There's nothing to be negative about."

With Seattle currently 4.5 games out of a playoff spot, the team could decide to move rental players like Hernandez if it falls further out of the race leading up to the trade deadline.

The Dominican Republic native is having a down year by his standards, slashing .247/.300/.430 with 16 home runs in 97 games while leading the American League in strikeouts. Still, as he proved on Friday, he's capable of changing a game with one swing and would inject right-handed power to any team potentially looking for an impact bat.

The Blue Jays are an excellent fit on paper, as the club is seeking a middle-of-the-order weapon, specifically one who hits from the right side.

If the Mariners decide not to sell over the next 10 days, or if Hernandez lands elsewhere, the Blue Jays could hypothetically circle back in the offseason. Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said shortly after the trade that he wouldn't rule out a reunion with the two-time Silver Slugger.

Getting Hernandez back in a Blue Jays uniform would be a welcome sight for many, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The two stars developed a special bond during their time as teammates and remain very close despite playing for different franchises.

"Our relationship is more than a player's. I consider him my brother," Hernandez said. "The relationship we built while I was in Toronto was impressive and even when we're in the offseason, we keep in touch, we get together. He goes to my town, I go to his town...

"We still talk a lot. Not every day, but two or three times per week to know what's going on, how he's feeling, how I'm feeling and how everything's going."