Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Mea Culpa.....

I wrote an article a few weeks ago arguing that the Jays did not have to try and win NOW. I stand behind the sentiment behind that article. When surveying the field, I did not believe that the risks associated with filling the team’s holes (starting pitching, 2nd base, left field, DH, catcher) were worth the costs (massive expenditures on free agency or giving up a significant portion of our minor league prospects) and that the pressure for a win-now move was misguided. I still believe that.

What I did not know was that AA had an offer to fill most of our holes in one fell swoop by picking up half of the Miami Marlins talent without giving up the core of our minor league talent. The Jays did take on a large amount of salary. The Jays did give up two prospects in Marisnick and Nicolino that may, may, blossom into all-star talents in the future.  But, the risks in this trade were well worth pulling the trigger. Overnight the Jays turned into a contender in a weakening AL East without jeopardizing the future.

AA took a mighty big swing. Before we find out whether he knocked it out of the park or not,  we should recognize that it was the right pitch to swing at. In my previous article, I wasn’t trying to argue that the Jays shouldn’t make major moves in order to win, but that they had to be the right moves. If they right moves weren’t available, then I didn’t think a 100 million contract for Anibal Sanchez or the pressure trying to force it were going to move the team forward.

With the trade and now Cabrera signed the Jays are avoiding sinking their future into over-priced free agents to fill the holes on the team. With that said, I’d be lying if I ignored my greed for moving the chips all in and signing Zach Greinke, Brandon McCarthy, and Johnny Gomes. Unrealistic indeed. What I can say, is that I am excited to see where AA moves next.

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  • Jacob Danovitch

    Not to nitpick, but how was catcher ever a hole? It’s our deepest position.

    • vilifyingforce

      Because JPA is pretty bad?

      • Jacob Danovitch

        JPA is solid (29 HRs/162 games), Wilson is a decent backup, Buck is serviceable, and d’Arnaud could be special. That’s 4 MLB ready catchers.

        • vilifyingforce

          JPA is a near replacement level catcher, John Buck is basically an older JPA, Bobby Wilson has less offense then Jeff Mathis, and d’Arnaud is coming off an injury so will need some time, the big league catcher position is a weak position. 4MLB ready catchers, 1 with potential and 3 borderline replacement level or worse.

          • Josh Winninger

            Calling JPA a near replacement level catcher is pretty unfair. 1 WAR in his first season, and 1.5 WAR in 2/3 of a season last year. JPA is not an all star or a star, but I don’t think yourealizewhat areplacement level catcher actually is. Kurt Suzuki, Jose Molina, those are replacement level catchers. JPA is heads and shoulders above them based on talent, results and still some future potential.

          • vilifyingforce

            JPA was 27th in WAR among catchers, that’s not replacement level, but, it’s near it. Also not sure how up on other advanced stats, but, Max Marchi has done a study on a catchers ability to frame pitches and generated a runs saved off of it that was referenced by Joe Maddon that had Molina about ten miles ahead of the competition. Molina is also 37 and based off PA’s would take 304PA/WAR whereas JPA was going at a clip of 286PA/WAR, that’s not head and shoulders above. Kurt Suzuki actually outhit JPA once he left Oakland. Kurt Suzuki also bettered JPA’s mark of 1.4WAR(of 1.3 on FG) in each of his first four full seasons. Jose Molina never has, but, Jose Molina has never been a starter either

            And how long does a guy get to keep his potential? He’s going to be 27 in a couple of months, soon he’s going to be a below average hitting catcher with plus power(for a catcher) who’s below average defensively. Even when he was a prospect he was always seen as a placeholder until one of the younger guys developed enough to take his spot, he seems like a nice guy, but, c’mon he just isn’t that good. I see his absolute ceiling as being John Buck although I don’t think he ever hits that good.