After giving the Blue Jays four good months of work out of the bullpen, Daniel Hudson is on his way to the Nationals in exchange for Kyle Johnston.
Hudson is in the midst of a productive season where he’s posted a 3.00 ERA, although his peripherals don’t back up that number as he carries a 4.21 FIP.
The 32-year-old’s greatest appeal to the Nationals is his power fastball which averages approximately 96 m.p.h. with an elite 89th percentile spin rate. Hudson may not be a late-inning arm for his new club, but he will provide some welcome gas out of the pen.
As a reliever on a one-year deal, Hudson always looked like a possible trade candidate but he didn’t pitch like one out of the gate, allowing five runs in his first 3.1 innings in Toronto and taking the club’s first loss. Since then, he’s been exceedingly reliable, giving the team excellent value on a modest $1.5 million deal.
In Johnston the Blue Jays are getting Washington’s 27th-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, while FanGraphs did not include him on their Nationals prospect list. Johnston is a 23-year-old right-hander who’s currently working at High-A. He’s pitched 105 innings of 4.03 ERA ball this season, with a 3.53 FIP.
Johnston is armed with a three-pitch repertoire featuring a fastball, hard slider, and changeup. He throws low-to-mid 90’s with sinking action on his heater and profiles as a reliever at the highest level - despite appearing mainly as a starter in the minor leagues.
The deal is a win-win for Hudson and the Blue Jays, as the reliever latches on with a contending club and Toronto will continues to stockpile prospect capital.
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