How Does the Hernandez Trade Impact the Blue Jays' 2023 World Series Odds?

How Does the Hernandez Trade Impact the Blue Jays' 2023 World Series Odds?
© USA Today

The last time fans saw Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, he was hitting two homers in that painful 10-9 wild card series loss at Rogers Centre in October that ended their season.

That was against the Seattle Mariners, who, ironically, just acquired the 30-year-old in a stunning trade announced earlier today.

Hernandez goes to the Mariners in exchange for hard-throwing reliever Erik Swanson and pitching prospect Adam Macko.

Swanson, 29, is going to really solidify the back end of the Jays' bullpen with his swing-and-miss stuff (1.68 ERA, 70 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched, in a breakout season for him). 

Macko slots into the No. 8 position on the Jays’ prospect list, according to MLB Pipeline. The bullpen was a big priority for the Jays to address this season.

Who wins the trade? Debate amongst yourselves. 

Hernandez is an all-star, and while he had some injuries last season and had what many thought was an off year, he still hit 25 home runs. He was a force in the batting order.

You have to look at the overall picture. For Jays fans, the team saves around $12 million to $13 million in salary in the deal, since Hernandez, about to become a free agent (in 2023), was projected by some in the media to earn around $14 million through arbitration this year, with Swanson projected to make $1.5 million as he goes through arbitration. 

Plus the Jays cut ties with outfielders Raimel Tapia, Bradley Zimmer and Jackie Bradley Jr., meaning another $6 million or so in salary savings. And there’s discussion about George Springer moving to right field now.

That’s a big hole in the outfield. But that’s also a lot of saved cash to spend on a free agent. Does that mean they take a run at free-agent right fielder Brandon Nimmo (.274, 16 home runs, 64 RBIs last season), as has been reported today? Or other left-handed hitters like him (another lineup need)? Extensions are going to be needed soon for Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero and Alek Manoah.

Betting Impact

The impact on betting was immediate. According to FanDuel, Seattle cut a bit in the 2023 World Series outright to 18/1 following the trade. Interesting, they reported that the Jays odds of +1400 weren’t affected, at least for now. 

We shall see, since a lot of this is obviously dependent on what they do from here.

Remember most of the chatter this off-season so far has revolved around their surplus at catcher – Danny Jansen, Gabriel Moreno and Alejandro Kirk, which generated an MLB-best 7.3 WAR in 2022. 

One of those guys is likely to be gone in a trade. Interestingly, a week ago some sportsbooks had the Jays at +900 in World Series odds, fourth behind the Dodgers, Astros and Braves.

Here are the updated FanDuel 2023 World Series odds, post trade:

Team Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers +550
Houston Astros +600
New York Yankees +850
Atlanta Braves +850
New York Mets +950
San Diego Padres +1400
Toronto Blue Jays +1400
Philadelphia Phillies +1800
Seattle Mariners +1800
St. Louis Cardinals +2000
Chicago White Sox +2200
Tampa Bay Rays +2500
Milwaukee Brewers +3000
San Francisco Giants +4000
Boston Red Sox +4000
Cleveland Guardians +4000
Baltimore Orioles +4000
Los Angeles Angels +4000
Texas Rangers +6000
Minnesota Twins +6000
Miami Marlins +7000
Chicago Cubs +7000
Detroit Tigers +7000
Arizona Diamondbacks +7000
Kansas City Royals +8000
Colorado Rockies +10000
Cincinnati Reds +12000
Pittsburgh Pirates +15000
Oakland Athletics +15000
Washington Nationals +15000