Toronto Blue Jays trade relievers Loup, Axford before trade deadline

Toronto Blue Jays trade relievers Loup, Axford before trade deadline
Jays trade Loup to Phils, Axford to Dodgers – Article
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays traded two relief pitchers for prospects before Tuesdays trade deadline, sending long-serving left-hander Aaron Loup to the Philadelphia Phillies and Canadian right-hander John Axford to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 30-year-old Loup, the longest-tenured Blue Jay before the trade, was dealt for minor-league right-handed pitcher Jacob Waguespack. Axford was traded for right-hander Corey Copping.

Loup is 0-0 with a 4.54 earned-run average in 50 games this season. The native of Raceland, La., owns a career record of 12-20 with a 3.47 ERA and 297 strikeouts in 369 games over seven seasons with Toronto from 2012 to 2018.

Axford, 35, is 4-1 with a 4.41 ERA in 45 games with one start for the Blue Jays this season. The six-foot-five, 220-pound native of Simcoe, Ont., has a career record of 38-34 with a 3.78 ERA and 144 saves in 538 games for seven different teams. He had a career-high 46 saves for Milwaukee in 2011.

The 24-year-old Waguespack, a six-foot-six, 225-pound pitcher from Waco, Texas, is a combined 4-6 with a 4.68 ERA in 21 games for the double-A Reading Fightin Phils the triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Waguespack didnt have to go far to join his new team. The IronPigs are currently in a series with the Blue Jays triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.

Copping, 24, is 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA in 35 games for the double-A Tulsa Drillers and triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers. The 6-1, 175-pound righty from Pasadena, Calif., owns a career record of 11-4 and a 3.37 ERA in four minor league seasons.

OFFICIAL: Weve acquired minor league RHP Corey Copping from the @Dodgers in exchange for RHP John Axford. pic.twitter.com/cxRnHm044t

Axford has been solid, if unspectacular, with the Blue Jays this season posting a 4.41 ERA and 4.02 FIP in 51 innings. While those numbers dont jump off the page, the Canadian has a fastball that averages 95.5 mph, a ground-ball rate of 53.3% and has demonstrated the ability to throw multi-innings with consistency in 2018. That makes him a valuable commodity for the Dodgers, whove sported a middle-of-the pack relief corps this year.

Going the other way is minor-league reliever Corey Copping, a 24-year-old who has been successful out of the bullpen in the high minors. Although he isnt a big arm who tends to work in the low 90s, Copping has posted a 2.52 ERA across 53.2 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A. The right-hander has shown the ability to provide some length out of the pen, registering his 53.2 innings in just 35 appearances. He does not appear on the Dodgers top-30 prospect list from MLB Pipeline.