For the Astros, U Marwin Gonzalez is a free agent, and in case Gonzalez isn\’t signed, Diaz might be their fallback plan. After a trade from the Cardinals, Diaz regained his value in 2018 with a career high 18 home runs in 130 games, despite not getting close to the .300 batting average mark, 2018 was still way better for Diaz than 2017.
Diaz, 28, hit 18 home runs with 55 RBIs and a .263 batting average, plus three stolen bases in 452 Plate Appearances for the Blue Jays in 2018. In his MLB career for the Jays and St. Louis Cardinals, Diaz has a batting average of .275, with 42 homers, 140 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 1213 Plate Appearances.
For the Jays, they still have Troy Tulowitzki at short, but more importantly, Richard Urena and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. coming up. At third, they have Brandon Drury and the MLB\’s top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. So, there was no spot for Diaz in the infield. They get a prospect in Thornton, who has struggled in the minors and is Rule 5 draft eligible.
Thornton, 25, had a 4.42 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 122 strikeouts in 124.1 innings for AAA Fresno in 2018. In his minor league career, he has a 4.23 ERA with a WHIP of 1.26 and 396 strikeouts in 446.1 innings.