Blue Jays part with Axford, Loup in deadline deals

John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in one of two deals that the Toronto Blue Jays completed on deadline day. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in one of two deals that the Toronto Blue Jays completed on deadline day. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

By Andrew Hendriks

Canadian Baseball Network

The Blue Jays parted ways with a pair of relievers at Tuesday's non-waiver deadline, sending both Aaron Loup and Jonathan Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) to National League clubs in exchange for a pair of minor league arms.

For Axford, Toronto received Corey Copping, a 24-year-old righty who has pitched to an ERA of 2.52 through 35 appearances between double-A Tulsa and triple-A Oklahoma City in 2018.

In exchange for Loup, the Blue Jays picked up right-hander Jacob Waguespack, a 6'6" product of Waco,Texas who has made 15 starts between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley this season.

Loup departs the team having tossed 318 2/3 innings over parts of seven seasons with Toronto. At the time of Tuesday's deal, the side-winding hurler ranked first in franchise history in overall appearances by a left-handed pitcher (369). Through an even 50 assignments this season, the veteran reliever has recorded an ERA of 4.54 while striking out 42 of the 166 batters he faced.

Acquired by the Blue Jays as a free agent in February, Axford went 4-1 and allowed 24 earned runs over 51 innings with the Blue Jays in 2018. His current WHIP of 1.255 is the lowest figure he's produced since rolling a 1.140 as the Milwaukee Brewers closer in 2011.

Both Loup and Axford will be free agents in November, so dealing the pair for young, controllable talent should benefit the Blue Jays beyond this season.

While Copping projects to break into the majors as a reliever, Waguespack's overall build and durability, coupled with a recent spike in velocity, could help transition him into a back of the rotation type talent with additional seasoning at the triple-A level. 

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