TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made the first of what is expected to be a flurry of moves before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline by sending setup man Seunghwan Oh to the Rockies on Thursday.Oh was traded to Colorado for Double-A outfielder Forrest Wall, Class A first baseman Chad Spanberger and
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made the first of what is expected to be a flurry of moves before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline by sending setup man Seunghwan Oh to the Rockies on Thursday.
Oh was traded to Colorado for Double-A outfielder Forrest Wall, Class A first baseman Chad Spanberger and either a player to be named later or cash considerations. Wall (13) and Spanberger (24) were both top 30 prospects in the Rockies' sytem, according to MLB Pipeline, and Wall slotted in as the No. 24 prospect for the Blue Jays.
The trade was officially announced on Thursday morning and was the first of two moves the Blue Jays made. Toronto also traded left-hander J.A. Happ to the Yankees for infielder/outfielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney, who is ranked as the No. 18 prospect for the Blue Jays.
"These are incredible opportunities for professional sports teams to add young, versatile talent that we will control for multiple years," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said. "These are opportunities you can't pass up on. Having said that, parting ways with individuals as professional and as committed and as good as human beings as J.A. Happ and Seunghwan Oh are, is always difficult and emotional."
Spanberger, 22, was taken by the Rockies in the sixth round of the 2017 Draft. He's batting .315/.363/.579 with 22 homers and 75 RBIs in 92 games for Class A Advanced Asheville, which is known for having a hitter-friendly ballpark. He was the first prospect reported to be in the deal after he was removed from his game on Wednesday after one at-bat.
Wall was drafted out of high school as a second baseman in 2014, but a series of shoulder issues eventually forced his move to center field. The injury concerns have limited his versatility, but there's upside in the bat and he was considered one of the speediest players in his Draft class. Despite the pedigree, Wall is struggling this season in Double-A, hitting .206/.289/.359 in 46 games.
The Blue Jays targeted position players in their first two deals before the Deadline, which means the focus will now shift to pitching in the days and months ahead as the club continues to rebuild.
"We're at the point now, where our position player talent is very strong and will be hard to upgrade," Atkins said. "We will shift our focus to pitching. It doesn't mean we won't acquire a young position player prospect if there's a significant difference in the acquisition opportunity.
"Whether it's this Trade Deadline, or over the course of the offseason, controllable pitching is very difficult to acquire, and I think now we have, not entirely shifted our focus, but these acquisitions today will point the needle a little bit more towards pitching than it was prior."
The Blue Jays signed Oh to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million during Spring Training, which included a club option for 2019 at $2.5 million with a $250,000 buyout. Those terms have proven to be a major bargain considering Oh has posted an impressive 2.68 ERA while striking out 55 batters and walking just 10 in 47 innings.
Oh's performance made him one of the Blue Jays' top trade chips alongside Happ in the days leading up to the Trade Deadline. Toronto is expected to shop almost all of its veteran relievers -- Tyler Clippard, John Axford and possibly Aaron Loup -- but Oh was always expected to be the first to go because he held the most value and was generating the most interest.
"It's certainly helpful, but we were not anxious to move players," Atkins said of making two big trades five days before the Deadline. "We were only going to make deals if we felt like the deal had the right return. We've done a ton of work to make sure we can be agile up until the last second of the Deadline ... We did not feel pressure to move."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.