The Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly dealt struggling left fielder Kelly Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays for second baseman Aaron Hill and shortstop John McDonald. The report first came in from John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR Sports Radio in Phoenix and has been repeated by multiple other sources.
The potential move would come as a shock to many all across baseball. Despite his inconsistent play in 2011, Johnson had a breakout year with the Diamondbacks in 2010 after leaving Atlanta.
Aaron Hill, 29, had a big season in 2009, though he has struggled mightily since then. The second baseman is hitting just .225/.270/.313 in the hitter-friendly Rogers Center in Toronto. He has a team option for the 2012-2014 seasons on his contract, though the Diamondbacks can elect to decline those options and offer arbitration at any time.
John McDonald, 36, is a career utility man who is capable of playing around the infield. Not much of a hitter -- .250/.285/.345 -- McDonald will likely serve as infield depth for Arizona, though he has been a solid defender throughout his career. McDonald will be a free agent after this season.
The motives for each team are pretty apparent here; the Diamondbacks are looking to remove a struggling player and receive two middle infielders in return, and the Blue Jays are interested in a talented, streaky, young player who could fetch draft picks in the upcoming off-season if he is offered arbitration.
Nothing has been made official, though the Blue Jays and GM Alex Anthopoulos have a press conference schedule for 3:30 p.m. EDT today.
Update: The Arizona Diamondbacks confirmed the deal in a press release.
Stay tuned to SB Nation Arizona for complete coverage of the deal and head over to AZ Snake Pit for analysis and great discussion.