According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Boston Red Sox had discussed a trade with the Miami Marlins that would have possible netted a return of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and possibly Emilio Bonifacio.
Ultimately, the decision by the Red Sox to not include top prospect Xander Bogaerts likely scuttled the deal deal, according to Bradford. In the end, Reyes, Johnson, Bonifacio, Mark Buehrle, and John Buck were shipped north to the Blue Jays with Toronto parting with Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis, and Anthony Descalfani.
Just imagine for a minute, the different landscape that the American League East could have today had Boston decided to include the game’s number 20 prospect in order to land Reyes and Johnson.
The deal has not quite worked out in Toronto’s favor thus far, as Reyes is currently shelved until July with a severe ankle injury, while the pair of Johnson (0-1, 6.86 ERA) and Bonifacio (.179 avg, 4 errors) have been largely ineffective to start the 2013 season.
Of course, the ability for Anthopoulos to land that trade also lead him to go all in and send Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud to the New York Mets for ace R.A. Dickey, who himself was inconsistent in April.
If that initial trade does not go through for Toronto, adding two of the three arms Toronto needed for their 2013 rotation, Anthopoulos would have had to spend more time chasing free agents or pursuing other options on the trade market. That means that players like Shawn Marcum, Kyle Lohse, or other stop gap arms would have been in the cards. Maybe even an arm like Ryan Dempster, as Boston would not have likely signed him had they acquired Johnson.
Chances are also good that the plundering of the farm system would have been a bit more minimalistic, as the desire to win now may have stayed Anthopoulos’s hand a bit on trading away the key pieces of the system.
What all this would have meant in regards to the results on the field is tough to quantify, especially as we cannot fathom how Anthopoulos would have gone about his winter business under this scenario. We also don’t know if Johnson would have struggled in Boston and Reyes would have gotten hurt, the variables are just too difficult to truly fathom.
We do know this though; the excitement generated within the Blue Jays fan base would not have the same. But then again, neither would the level of disappointment after a rough start to the season. It likely would have been ho-hum as usual.
And if given the opportunity, would we really want to return to a ho-hum effort?