Sorry fellow fans….it’s been a while. I’m traveling overseas on a business trip, but even that couldn’t keep me from blogging this news!
Alex Anthopoulos may have just pulled off a trade even bigger than Carter and Alomar for McGriff and Fernandez. (That’s sets the bar nice and high since Carter and Alomar led the Jays to two world series wins in relatively short order).
Although not officially reported by either club, MLB.com has reported the Bluejays and Marlins will exchange 12 players – 5 veterans to Toronto and a wealth of young talent to Miami – in a blockbuster deal that shows Toronto’s commitment to win now.
To Toronto comes Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck. To Miami goes Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, Adeiny Hechavarria (#7 prospect in Jays system – shortstop), Jeff Mathis, and three solid prospects in Jake Marisnick (#2 prospect in Jays system – outfielder), Justin Nicolio (#5 prospect in Jays system – lefty pitcher).
Miami sheds approximately $160 million in payroll over the next five years. The Jays play to win today – it’s been a while since we could say that.
Whether this turns out good or bad, I appreciate the move. Anthopoulos has built enough talent in the farm to make a move like this, it’s about time Rogers stepped up, and as a fan, we have to take a shot sometime.
The injury-prone Jays did, however, pick up some injury-prone players and, at least part way gut their farm system. Yet for Anthopoulos, this is make or break. And those decisions take balls. And as a fan, if this doesn’t work out, at least they tried. We haven’t been able to say that for a while.
The Jays rotation of Johnson, Morrow, Buehrle, Romero, and Happ are good enough to compete with anyone in the American League. And if Romero has a bounce back year, is probably the best in the AL.
And thanks Anthopoulos for acting on your words. You consistently said this offseason’s goal would be to pick up two front-end rotation starters. I never expected it in a single move (or without parting Travis d’Arnaud – #1 Jays prospect – a catcher). I still say d’Arnaud is gone before the end of the offseason. Maybe for a big bat.
Let’s breakdown the players:
Josh Johnson – career 56 – 37, 3.15 era. Miss nearly all of 2011 with a shoulder problem. Made 31 starts in 2012. Finished 8 – 14, 3.81 era. Interestingly, was closer to 3.00 era in last 12 starts. A true ace when healthy. 28 years old and should be motivated to do well this year – he is a free agent for the first time following the 2013 season.
Jose Reyes – a real lead off hitter. Something the Jays have lacked for years. Career avg of .291 and obp of .342. He has averaged 1 steal every 3 games in his major league career. If healthy all year, he should get 50. Most important though, he’ll get on base. The Jays obp has been a nightmare the last few seasons. He’s owed $96 million over the next 5 years.
Mark Buehrle – about as consistent as they come. He’s won at least 10 games and pitched 200 plus innings for 12 straight seasons. 174-132, 3.82 over his career. He is a real pitcher (not a thrower) and works faster than any other pitcher in the mlb. A true class act. At 33, the 3 years left on his contract are worth it. Pitchers like this can usually pitch deep into their 30’s or even their 40’s.
Emilio Bonaficio – maybe the fastest player in the mlb. He had 30 steals last year….in only 64 games. He was put on the DL a couple times (thumb and knee). He can play second or center (maybe a fit in left field?). With him, Rajai Davis, and Gose, we have some serious base stealing threats in the system. Earned $2.2 million last year and is arbitration eligible this year. MLB.com projects he’ll earn $2.4 million in 2013.
John Buck – Jays fans will remember Buck from a couple years ago. He’ll be back as a backup to either Arencibia or d’Arnaud (my guess is Arencibia). Coming off a horrible year where he hit only .192 before losing considerable playing time. Has solid power and should be a decent back up. Contract is up at the end of 2013. Will make $6 million next season.
If you read my first blog, you’ll remember I have $300 dollars in bets that the Jays will win the AL Pennant in 2013. I feel a lot better about that bet now…