This past week has been momentous. Absolutely momentous. Okay, maybe I’m being a tad hyperbolic, but it’s been an exciting week for the Toronto Blue Jays (and their fans). This past week, the Toronto Blue Jays made the biggest trade in franchise history:
Going to the Miami Marlins
- Yunel Escobar (SS)
- Henderson Alvarez (SP)
- Adeiny Hechavarria (IF)
- Jeff Mathis (C)
- Justin Nicolino (SP)
- Jake Marisnick (OF)
- Anthony Desclafani (SP)
Coming to the Toronto Blue Jays
- Josh Johnson (SP)
- Mark Buehrle (SP)
- José Reyes (SS)
- Emilio Bonifacio (UT)
- John Buck (C)
- $4 million
This was a huge deal. Not only did a number of players change hands, but a number of marquee players. Reyes is a 4-time all-star and NL batting champion from 2011. Buehrle is a 4-time all-star. Johnson is a 2-time all-star. Buck is a 1-time all-star. Both Alvarez and Hechavarria are two prospects that were expected to lead the Blue Jays over the next decade. This trade will certainly solidify the Blue Jays’ prospects of making the playoffs in 2013.
Not only did the Blue Jays make a splash with this huge deal, they also signed a couple of players to fill a few holes. They signed Macier Izturis who can play all the infield positions and Melky Cabrera who was an all-star this year and the all-star MVP this year.
There are a ton of things going well for Toronto Blue Jays’ fans. Having been born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area, I’ve certainly followed the Blue Jays quite a bit, especially because growing up, baseball was my favorite sport. I loved the game, so naturally, I was interested in watching the professionals, too. I can remember back to 1992/1993 (when the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Series) — it was glorious. Those two teams were stacked with talent. In fact, leading up to the 1992 season, the Blue Jays made a very big trade to acquire to cornerstones of those championship teams. Many are comparing the trade I described above to that trade.
The number of deals (and the size of the deals, with regard to money), are not something that you usually see from the Blue Jays in the offseason. The Blue Jays usually have a very low-key offseason, picking up a few players here and there. I always remember the Blue Jays taking a more “Moneyball” approach. Part of this has to do with the size of the payroll. The only time I can remember the Jays spending a great deal of money in the offseason was during those two World Series years I described above.
There is no salary cap in baseball, so teams are allowed to spend as much as they want. As a result, you find the bigger marquee teams (like the Yankees and the Red Sox) able to spend more. (Though, there might be a chicken and egg problem here.) That’s why I’ve titled this post the way that I have. There haven’t been many times in Blue Jays’ history when they’ve spent this much in the offseason. As a result, I would imagine that this is what it feels like to be a Red Sox fan or a Yankees fan. Fans of these teams — I suspect — have become accustomed to their team spending a great deal of money in the offseason to keep them competitive.
Only time will tell if the success of the Reyes, Johnson, and Buehrle can equal the sucess of Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter. I, and most of Canada, most certainly hope that it will.