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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Andrew Hendriks

Born in southern Ontario during the late 1980's, Hendriks had a front row seat to watch the Blue Jays reach the pinnacle in '92/'93 as a child, an experience that only bolstered this Canadian's love for the "American Game." Having played since before his memory allows access too, his passion for Baseball grew over years of emulating his heroes on the local sandlots, memorizing the backs of chewing gum scented cards and travelling across North America to experience as many aspects of the game as possible. In 2009, Hendriks began volunteering at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a Weekend Tour Guide. By 2010, he was hired on to help curate for the museum & Instruct the fundamentals of the game along side such legends as Tony Fernandez, Roberto Alomar and Jim Fanning during the Hall's annual Kids On Deck program. Following the 2011 season, Hendriks began blogging and co-hosting a weekly podcast for, a Blue Jays themed website ran by fans, for fans. Looking to continue connecting with baseball fans across the country, Hendriks is excited to join such a strong team at the Canadian Baseball Network and looks forward to chipping in.