Back in January, I wrote that I thought that the Blue Jays were on the precipice of becoming a contender, and could make a possible post-season run in 2013. I envisioned that their young talent would continue to mature, and that when the time came, GM Alex Anthopolous would have the necessary pieces down on the farm to go get a big-time bat or a power pitcher as needed. The move that I never saw coming was them taking the Marlins to the cleaners and coming away with Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buerle.
To be fair, the Marlins acquired a significant amount of young talent in return, but that’s not exactly what the fans (and taxpayers) of Miami were probably looking for 8 months after they opened a new $634 million facility. Marlins’ “fans” are accustomed to fire sales after championships, but this salary dump in celebration of owner Jeffrey Loira fleecing them is a new experience, and they are justifiably unhappy with how things are playing out, in the moment. When the Marlins are hoisting yet another championship trophy following the 2015 season, I’m sure all will be forgiven.
For the Blue Jays, this move signifies that they believe their time is now, and they showed how firm they are in that belief when they signed Melky Cabrera to a 2 year, $16 million deal. Cabrera was having a career year in 2012, before it was revealed that he was using PEDs. While that revelation may have tempered the contract offers he received, he finds himself in a pretty good situation. If the Blue Jays are done dealing for this off-season, they’ve already put themselves in great position to move up in the A.L. East.
The scary thing for the Blue Jays’ divisional rivals is that for the talent they had to give up, there is still plenty more in their system, which means that when the time comes during the 2013 season for them to make an upgrade, they will have the players to go and get whomever they need. This is a Blue Jays team that will be built to win now, and for the foreseeable future. If the Orioles regress from the success they had in 2012, and if 2013 is the beginning of the end for the Evil Empire, the Blue Jays could find themselves contending with the Tampa Bay Rays for the division title.
Just a little under one month ago, it seemed like the biggest off-season news that the Jays might make was shipping their manager, John Farrell, back to Boston in exchange for SS Mike Aviles. Given what has transpired over the last few days, I can only imagine that Farrell has spent a considerable amount of time wondering if he made the right decision in asking to be sent back to Boston. If he had simply remained in Toronto, he gets credit for helping return the Blue Jays to the post-season. With his departure coming so close to their expected return to glory, it is likely that at least in some circles, he may be seen as the reason why the Jays didn’t make the jump. Those whisperings may grow considerably louder when the Red Sox spend their second consecutive season in last place in the East, which is their destiny, unless some big-time moves are made.
Are the Blue Jays for real? Or will these moves backfire on them?
Let me know what you think: