The Blue Jays made a seemingly minor move on Wednesday afternoon, acquiring third baseman Giovanny Urshela from Cleveland in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later. Just the third baseman that fans have been pining for, no doubt.
Urshela was activated from the DL and designated for assignment on May 4, ultimately settling in as the 41st player on Cleveland’s 40-man roster. Mostly known for his glove work, Urshela will reportedly join the Blue Jays once he sorts out his work visa.
The newest Blue Jays spent time in the bigs with Cleveland in 2015 and 2017, logging 148 games with a line of .225/.273/.314 across 453 plate appearances and a TAv of .209. He owns a 17.7% career strikeout rate, though that’s dragged up considerably by an outlying 20.1% mark in his rookie campaign. At no point in his career, even in the minors besides his limited action (11 games) this season, had Urshela struck out more than 16.3% of the time. Unfortunately, he also walks just 5.7% of the time, though the team probably won’t be counting on Urshela to contribute much with the bat either way.
Urshela has also seen spot duty at both short and second base (43.2 innings combined), though he’ll do the majority of his work at the hot corner. He’s another defensive specialist to help shore up the team’s infield depth, though at first glance it appeared as though he’d be destined for the minors while Richard Urena and Lourdes Gurriel are up with the Blue Jays. Urshela figures to occupy the same role that Gift Ngoepe did in his time with the Jays this season, albeit with marginally better performance at the plate. There’s been no word on the corresponding roster move yet, though the visa issues will buy the Blue Jays a little bit of time on that front.
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