It’s being reported — sorry, not sure who got it first; the earthquake has rendered Twitter almost unreadable — that the Diamondbacks have traded Kelly Johnson to Toronto for Aaron Hill and John McDonald.
Johnson is a year removed from a 26-homer, .284/.370/.496 season, though he’s struggling mightily this year. There’s still power — 18 homers — but he’s been all or nothin’ in that regard. And he is neither getting on base nor, apparently, impressing Kirk Gibson all that much. Meanwhile, Hill, a former All-Star with big power of his own, is himself struggling for the second year in a row. McDonald is basically a throw-in, but he’ll provide some middle infield depth that isn’t Willie Bloomquist.
Hill is subject to club options at $8 million, $8 million and $10 million over the next three years, respectively. Unless he shows that he’s able to hit again, and fast, however, you have to think that the Dbacks will just say forget it and decline them. Then again, they may just want him for a potential down-the-stretch power boost that a change of scenery will give him. As for the Jays, they just seem to be tired of the guy.
As expected, the Blue Jays have activated second baseman Aaron Hill from the 15-day disabled list in time for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Tigers. Mike McCoy was optioned back to Triple-A Las Vegas to clear a 25-man roster spot.
Hill spent a little over two weeks nursing a right hamstring injury before heading out on a minor league rehab assignment last Thursday. He played in two games at Single-A Dunedin, going 1-for-6 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.
The powerful but streaky 29-year-old will return to a poor .242/.265/.290 big league batting line. He hasn’t homered in 68 plate appearances this season and has tallied just nine RBI. The Blue Jays, who currently sit four games back of the Rays and Yankees in the American League East standings, will hope that Hill can get back on track quickly.
It sounds like Jose Bautista’s neck injury isn’t serious despite needing an MRI exam, as Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that he’s “expected to ride a stationary bike today” and “will hit tomorrow” before likely rejoining the lineup Sunday.
Aaron Hill is also aiming to be in the Blue Jays’ lineup Sunday, but will need to avoid a setback with his hamstring injury while doing a brief rehab assignment at Single-A.
Hill has been on the disabled list since April 24, whereas Bautista–who leads the league in nearly every major offensive cateogry–has remained on the active roster while sitting out the past two games.