What Do You Get for the Heart of the Franchise? Aaron Hill and John McDonald traded for Kelly Johnson
That earthquake you might have felt this afternoon was my heart breaking a wee little bit.
This just in: the Jays have traded Aaron Hill and John McDonald to the Diamondbacks in exchange for 2B Kelly Johnson.
A career .260/.342/.432 hitter, Johnson is having a slump year, and has struggled at the plate for Arizona. 2010′s numbers tell a different story; Fangraphs ranked Johnson second in the NL, behind Rickie Weeks.
It’s no question the Jays needed a 2B for the 2012 season. With no hot prospects coming up soon, the hole made by Hill was one that needed filling. Although fans like to claim the 2B solution is Brett Lawrie (with Bautista back at 3B), it’s a tired suggestion that has yet to receive even a smidgen of support from the team’s management.
The obvious move was to eye some new talent now, or in the off season. Johnson brings likely Type B status, same as Hill. But it may be easier, should Johnson work out, to sign him to a more team-friendly contract in the off season.
I’m a fan of the Johnson-Hill exchange. But I’m uncertain whether or not it’s worth the price of the man who many consider to be the heart of the franchise.
John McDonald is, without question, a fan favorite. Toronto adores the man with a flare for the infield, and often surprising delivery at the plate. He’s loved on – and off – the field.
McDonald and Hill will now join ex-Jay Lyle Overbay for a chance at post-season play. I wish them luck. I know if the Diamondbacks go to the playoffs, I’ll be rooting for them, if only for the chance to see McDonald get his first world series ring.
Updated: The press conference at 3:30pm confirmed the trade, and also revealed that John McDonald had inquired about moving to a team with post-season potential. Good for him! As tough as this is going to be for many of the fans, it’s hard to argue with what the man wants.
He’ll be missed here, and will hopefully return soon, either as a player or a coach.