Quite the Week
Now that Bud Selig has finally approved the largest trade in Blue Jays history, it's safe to reflect on the franchise makeover. There was never any real danger that MLB would void the trade, but taking a week to ruminate over it gave Selig the chance to "Tut, tut" the Marlins and throw Miami fans a bone that the commissioner is keeping a watchful eye on the team's fire-selling way (It also activated the latent Canadian paranoia in every Jays fan: "This never happens to the Yankees!!!")
So with that out of the way, time for some cogent analysis: Woohoo!
Yes, the Jays gave up some excellent prospects. Yes, the players coming back could be considered to have had "down" years - though none had bad years. Johnson's velocity might be down a tad. Buehrle really likes his dogs...
Fair enough. But the trade instantly rebuilds the starting rotation. A looking-to-rebound Ricky Romero can now slot into the #4 spot in the rotation instead of the #2 spot. Jose Reyes is the most multi-faceted offensive player the team has fielded since Roberto Alomar. And Emilio Bonifacio gives the team an actual bench. While John McDonald and Omar Vizquel were fun to have around, they were more mascot than actual value.
While the Jays parted with some value, they gave up players who might turn into the players they acquired if everything breaks right. Henderson Alvarez might one day be as effective as Josh Johnson. Adeiny Hechavarria might approach the .780 OPS that Reyes posted in 2012. In this deal, the Jays collect the finish products, at the cost of Rogers finally flexing their financial might.
It's nice to be in on the ground floor of a fire sale for once. This is the type of infuriating thing the Yankees usually pull off.
Oh, and as a bonus they offloaded this guy:
To fill the void of "Latin-born player who will be widely booed in opposing parks" left by Escobar, the Jays picked up Melky Cabrera for two years and $16 million. That's about $50 million less than he would have made had he not been popped for steroids. Don't expect him to reach the batting title heights of 2012, but he'll be a welcome improvement over Rajai Davis as the everyday left fielder.
A week ago, the Blue Jays rotation was spotty at best and the lineup had some glaring holes. They now sport a solid starting 4 and a balanced, potent attack. It might be time to get excited.
Labels: Alex Anthopoulos, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle, Melky Cabrera, trade