Well, what do we have here….perhaps the biggest trade in Blue Jays history (certainly the one with the most money involved)…we’ll see if it brings a World Series parade like the one Alomar/Carter did. But from the outset, this immediately fortifies the Blue Jays’ rotation, and gives us an All-Star lead-off hitter. While I love the addition of Johnson, Buehrle, Reyes and Bonifacio (who could very well play in LF or 2B and give the Jays a lot of speed), the addition of Buck in this deal is perplexing. What we can tell from looking at his stats since going to Florida is that he’s learned to take a walk; his SLG has decreased probably due to the ballpark factor, and that umm…he’s still John Buck. Maybe he’s flipped, or maybe as a friend of mine suggested, he platoons with d’Araud once JPA is flipped for another piece.
Thinking back to various Jays trades that filled multiple holes, I recall the Orlando Merced/Carlos Garcia/Dan Plesac trade that excited me a lot back in 1997, which Back In Blue mercifully classified as amongst the Jays 10 worst trades of all time. Merced filled the hole in RF, Garcia at 2B and Plesac of course gave us that shut-down lefty out of the pen. A lot of good that trade did Toronto. But this one will give Toronto fans and the rest of MLB a shot in the arm as the Blue Jays declare:
“We are in this thing. We’re never going to give up. We are an organization to be reckoned with!”
Truly this trade does indeed put the baseball world on alert much like the Jayson Werth signing did with Washington prior to the 2011 season. Washington wanted to be recognized as a free-agent landing spot that wasn’t afraid to spend money so that can make the playoffs. Sure enough it finally happened in 2012 with a ROY winner in Bryce Harper, a shrewd trade for Gio Gonzalez and a team that came together.
Now does this trade make Toronto the front-runners in the AL East? No, but that’s another post. Does it immediately improve the team and fill some holes? Absolutely! No doubt 2013 will be exciting as we watch this new brand of Blue Jays baseball to hopefully bring about some playoff baseball!
Much love to our beloved Jays!
Image from AP Photo/LM Otero