Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. The Toronto Blue Jays picked up 2 bona fide starters in one trade? Who? Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. Yeah right. Wait what? They also got one of the best shortstops Jose Reyes in the same trade. You’ve got to me kidding. Wait what? They also get 2 useful players Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck. Doesn’t this mean the Blue Jays will have to double their payroll to accommodate all these players? Yes sir and that’s what they’re doing. Is this a dream or a made up story on twitter? No it’s really happening.
If you live in Toronto or anywhere in Canada or are a baseball fan anywhere on planet Earth and were near a computer, radio or television on November 13th (bad luck number in Miami, good luck number in Toronto) this was probably how you took in one of the biggest trades in sports history. If you’re a fan of the Blue Jays you probably also had a mixed bag of emotions to.
Trades this big don’t happen very often that’s why they’re considered big trades. In baseball big trades don’t typically happen in November either because it’s the month after the season ends and teams haven’t figured out the trade and free agent market enough to do anything crazy. Trades this big also don’t happen to the Blue Jays, to the chagrin of Blue Jays fans for years.
It would be hard enough just trying to trade for one of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle let alone all 3. The perfect combination of the Marlins needing to dump salary and not having no trade clauses along with the Blue Jays having a very deep farm system to make trades from and having a substantial payroll increase because of increased attendance made this trade possible.
The fact that all the players the Blue Jays acquired have no trade clauses made it a lot easier than it normally would be to get star players to Toronto. It also makes it a lot easier for the Blue Jays to trade any of them to if they were inclined to.
This trade is so big that if the Blue Jays chose not to do anything else for the rest of the offseason, no one could say they’re not contenders. It would be a huge boost if they got someone better than Maicer Izturis to play 2nd, someone better than Emilio Bonifacio or Rajai Davis to play left field, someone better than Adam Lind to play DH, someone better than J.A. Happ to be the 5th starter but even if they don’t they would still be a very good team.
There is still a lot offseason left though which means a lot of time for the Blue Jays to make those upgrades and get even better. It also means all the other American League teams have time to get better to but the Blue Jays just got a huge head start.