The newest Blue Jay Varsho hopes the trade will spark a career – just like his father

Although he was initially shocked when he heard the news, Daulton Varsho sees his recent move to the Toronto Blue Jays as possibly one of the best things that could happen to him.

The former Arizona Diamondback was sent to Toronto on Friday in exchange for outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and catcher Gabriel Moreno.

“You think you’re going to stay in one place your whole career, and usually that never happens,” Varsho told reporters in a video call on Saturday. “I’m glad I have a family who can help me.

“My father [Gary Varsho] was traded, so he knows exactly the feeling. He was with the Cubs a long time and [then] go to Pittsburgh. But it was one of the biggest things for him, so I think the same. I’m coming to this winning team here in Toronto and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Varsho offers the Blue Jays a much-needed left-handed power racquet alongside a wealth of versatility.

He hit a career-high 27 home runs last season and was a Gold Glove finalist in right field and as a utility player. He also spent some time in midfield and made 18 starts as a catcher.

Varsho drove 74 carries, stole 16 bases and hit .235 in 151 games in 2022. The 26-year-old native of Marshfield, Wisconsin has been under team control for four years.

“I think rounded is what comes to mind,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Saturday of the team’s newest member. “The impact he’s going to have on our team is going to be on every side of the ball – the impact on base, speed, versatility, elite defense and the fact that he can catch for us too is about as suitable as we could have found it.

“I think it’s the ideal addition to the squad and one we’re really looking forward to.”

“It will be a lot of fun”

Gurriel, 29, is a 5-year veteran who is set to become a free agent after next season. He hit .291 in an injury-plagued season that included five home runs and 32 doubles.

Moreno, 22, made his major league debut with the Blue Jays last year, hitting a .319 with a homer in 69 at-bats. Toronto was deep in catcher position with All-Star Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen.

“All trades are difficult,” Atkins said. “Signing a player of this caliber, one of the better players of the last year, must make you uncomfortable. Bringing Lourdes Gurriel into the deal was difficult for us but necessary from their end.

“They wanted to cement talent at the major league level as well. The future-oriented deals [weren’t] so attractive to her.”

Varsho was among a group of talented young outfield players for the Diamondbacks who went 74-88 last season. Atkins said he will play mostly left field, bolstering a redesigned outfield consisting of George Springer and Kevin Kiermaier, who signed with the Jays on Dec. 15.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun playing with Kevin and George out there [and] to have a better idea of ​​how they play,” Varsho said.

Jays say they’re done with big moves

Varsho is particularly excited about the prospect of playing alongside Kiermaier.

“Definitely, he’s a Gold Glover,” he said. “It’s always fun to be out there with a guy who plays the same way I do where it gets tough until you catch the ball.

“To be able to learn from him because I think he’s going back really well. That’s one thing I’m struggling with a bit. But to be able to learn something, maybe something minimal for him throughout his career that has helped him and just give him some ideas. It’s just cool to be with guys like this who have been in the league for a while.

Toronto (92-70) finished last season in first place in the American League East, seven games behind the New York Yankees. The Blue Jays have been busy making the transition since being swept by the Seattle Mariners in the wild card round.

Toronto sent slugger Teoscar Hernandez to the Mariners for helper Erik Swanson last month. The Blue Jays also signed starting pitcher Chris Bassitt.

“I think our heavy lifting is done but certainly doesn’t rule anything out and would expect incremental improvements,” Atkins said. “But we’re very excited about this impact and also feel good about the previous acquisitions we’ve made.”

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