Blue Jays trade Sanchez, Biagini to Astros

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Toronto Blue Jays shipped out another two of their few remaining ties to their most recent playoff teams in a deal just before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

The rebuilding Blue Jays (43-67) dealt right-handed starter Aaron Sanchez, right-handed reliever Joe Biagini and minor-league outfielder Cal Stevenson to the Houston Astros. The Blue Jays will get outfielder Derek Fisher in return, according to a report from Sportsnet.

The Astros, who entered Thursday with the best record in the American League, were busy at the deadline, also acquiring Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke.

Sanchez, a homegrown Blue Jay, has been with the team since 2014. He has struggled for much of this season, going 3-14 with a 6.07 earned-run average while losing 10 in a row at one point.

Sanchez, 27, had improved results the past two outings, both no-decisions, giving up five earned runs in a combined 10 2/3 innings.

Sanchez was a key part of Jays playoff teams in 2015 and ’16. His best year was the second playoff season when Sanchez went 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA.

The 29-year-old Biagini, picked up by Toronto in the 2015 Rule 5 draft, is 3-1 with a 3.78 earned-run average this season.

Fisher, a second-round pick in 2014, has split time between triple-A Round Rock and Houston this season.

In the majors this year, the 25-year-old is batting .226 in 53 at-bats with one homer, five RBIs and four stolen bases. In triple-A, he is hitting .286 with 14 homers, 36 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 224 at-bats.

Sanchez and Biagini were the fifth and sixth Blue Jays to be traded for prospects or younger players in the past week, following infielder Eric Sogard, right-handed starter Marcus Stroman and right-handed relievers David Phelps and Daniel Hudson.

Biagini was the second reliever traded by the Jays on Thursday. Earlier, Toronto sent Hudson to the Washington Nationals for right-hander Kyle Johnston.

The 32-year-old Hudson has a record of 6-3 with a 3.00 ERA and two saves in 45 games for the Blue Jays this season. Toronto signed Hudson as a free agent on March 25.

Johnston, 23, has a 9-9 record with a 4.03 ERA in 20 starts for advanced-A Potomac of the Carolina League this season, striking out 100 batters in 105 innings pitched.

Earlier, the Blue Jays placed left-hander Ryan Borucki on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, retroactive to Sunday.

Left-hander Buddy Boshers was selected to the major league roster to take Borucki’s place.

It’s another setback for Borucki, who missed the first half of his sophomore year after suffering a left elbow injury in spring training.

Borucki, 25, returned to the Blue Jays earlier this month and made two starts, going 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA. He pitched just 6 2/3 innings during those two outings.

Borucki had a promising rookie campaign, going 4-6 with a 3.87 ERA while striking out 67 and walking 33 in 17 starts.

The loss of Borucki thins out an already short-handed Blue Jays starting staff after the trade of Stroman to the New York Mets on Sunday.

Also Thursday, the Blue Jays claimed right-hander Brock Stewart from the Los Angeles Dodgers and optioned him to triple-A Buffalo.

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