Blue Jays, D-backs do well in trade

The Blue Jays on Tuesday acquired second baseman Kelly Johnson from the Diamondbacks in exchange for the contracts of second baseman Aaron Hill and infielder John McDonald.

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos told me he placed both Hill and McDonald through waivers earlier this month with both players clearing. Shortly thereafter, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers put in a call to Anthopoulos inquiring about McDonald's availability. The conversations continued until this three-player deal was finalized Tuesday afternoon.

I talked with Anthopoulos, who left the door open for both Hill and McDonald to possibly return to Toronto as free agents after the season. He also pointed out that this was a good opportunity for the Blue Jays to evaluate Johnson on a daily basis as they try to fill their everyday second base opening for 2012. What is clear in this deal is that both GMs were not happy with their everyday second basemen, who were having “down years.” The Blue Jays probably will get a supplemental draft pick out of this transaction as compensation for Johnson when he becomes a free agent. They also will have firsthand knowledge of Johnson, Hill and McDonald to help them decide whether they want to pursue any of them for 2012. In addition, the Blue Jays save close to $325,000 in this trade.