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Blue Jays trade infielder Santiago Espinal to Reds for pitcher Chris McElvain

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired right-handed pitcher Chris McElvain from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for infielder Santiago Espinal.

The deal was announced Wednesday by Toronto.

The 23-year-old McElvain from Columbia, Tenn., split the 2023 season between the Red’s single-A team and high-A squad going 5-5 with a 3.74 earned-run average and a 1.31 walks and hits per innings pitched in 23 game appearances.

The six-foot, 205-pound pitcher was an eighth-round pick of the Reds in the 2022 first-year player draft after three seasons at Vanderbilt. McElvain appeared in 44 games, including 17 starts, for the Commodores with a 4.83 ERA and 165 strikeouts over 141.1 innings.

Espinal, 29, appeared in 93 games for the Blue Jays last year. His batting average was .248 with 16 extra-base hits and 25 RBI.

Toronto acquired the right-handed hitting infielder from the Boston Red Sox in 2018 for outfielder Steve Pearce.

Espinal made his Major League Baseball debut with the Jays in 2020.

He was selected to the 2022 all-star game as a replacement for Jose Altuve.

Over the course of 347 career big-league games, Espinal recorded 56 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs, and 99 RBI.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2024. 

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