I don’t think anyone would argue making 3 trades in the span of a week and a half is excessive. Usually if a team makes 3 trades before the July trade deadline they’re “all in” trying to rebuild or “all in” trying to get a playoff spot that season.
The Toronto Blue Jays made 3 trades last July before the trade deadline and they weren’t trying to do either of those things.
What were they trying to do? No one really understood to a lot of Blue Jays fans frustration. But let’s see if we can figure it out now.
A lot of Blue Jays fans didn’t like the trade because it seemed like a lot to give up considering the circumstances of the players the Jays received in return. Brandon Lyon was going to be a free agent at the end of the season and did end up signing elsewhere this offseason and David Carpenter wasn’t even good enough to join the big league bullpen and he ended up being traded to the Redsox in the John Farrell trade.
J.A. Happ was used as a reliever when he first came to Toronto and it wasn’t like his inevitable 2012 rotation spot was going to help the Jays make the playoffs. He also wasn’t seen as a rotation candidate for 2013. It seemed like the Jays just made the trade for the sake of it.
Happ was actually a pretty good starter for the Jays down the stretch in 2012 and earned himself a chance to be in 2013 rotation. He was even in line to be the Jays 5th starter this offseason until they acquired R.A. Dickey.
We still don’t know what Happ’s future in Toronto will be but now it looks like he could be extremely valuable for the Jays in 2013. He could take the Jays 5th starter spot if Ricky’s terribleness from last season continues. Either way the Jays are bound to need him in 2013 to make spot starts or to come out of the bullpen. No one misses Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco and we don’t know what the prospects the Jays traded will end up being but as far as 2013 is concerned that trades looking pretty good right now.
Who can forget July 30th when the Blue Jays were playing the Seattle Mariners with Travis Snider in left field. He got pulled out of the game because he got traded to the Pirates for Brad Lincoln. Everyone assumed Eric Thames would come up from the minors to be the new left fielder but after the game we found out Thames had been traded to the Mariners for Steve Delabar.
No Jays fan in his right mind should miss Snider or Thames since the Jays ended up signing the 2012 NL batting champion Melky Cabrera to play left field.
Eric Thames highest potential seemed to be a fourth outfielder so trading him for anything made sense. The Jays didn’t just get anything though they got Steve Delabar. Delabar was as impressive as a reliever can be in his 2 months with the Jays striking out batter after batter after batter. Even though 2 months is a small sample size most Blue Jays fans already see Delabar ending up as the Jays closer before the end of the 2013 season and for years to come. We’ll have to see if his dominance from last season continues but right now the worst case scenario for Delabar looks like the Jays long term set up man.
Unlike the other 2 trades Snider for Brad Lincoln is still a head scratcher. Mainly because the Jays still don’t know what they’re going to get from Lincoln and the Pirates still don’t know what they’re going to get from Snider.
Snider was going to be out of options in 2013 so the Jays were going to have to trade him if they needed to send him to the minors anyways. It’s just that Snider was the Jays top prospect for a long time and a lot of fans still felt he had star potential and never got enough playing time to prove it. So it was hard to digest the fact that his value had gotten so low that he was traded for a reliever. It didn’t help that Brad Lincoln wasn’t too impressive with the Jays and that his future in Toronto is far from certain. However the Pirates ended up not giving Travis Snider full playing time in Pittsburg either so it’s not like the Jays were just crazy.