Blue Jays The Offseason Champions
March 23, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) works out prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsIf medicine and technology ever become so advanced that we are all living healthy lives past the age of 100 you still may never see a more perfectly executed offseason then the one the Blue Jays just had.
In most offseason’s a team trading their manager to a division rival and then trading what they got in return for a reliever would be considered a highlight. For the offseason the Blue Jays just had it’s an afterthought. And since the Blue Jays play the Boston Redsox in the 2nd series of the season I MIGHT address that situation when that series starts. Dun Dun Dun. It’s also boring compared to everything else that took place in the offseason.
In most offseason’s signing a super utility player like Maicer Izturis that has the chance to play almost every day would also be considered a highlight but in this offseason it’s also an afterthought.
Whoever says nothing big happens in the baseball offseason in November doesn’t know Alex Anthopoulos.
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series on October 28th.
16 days later on November 13th no one who’s been following baseball for a decent amount of years would expect anything to happen. 16 days into the offseason surely no team could get any of their offseason plans to materialize.
Then word of a trade started leaking. Side Note: A lot of places tell you the Marlins trade happened on November 19 but that’s when it became official, news of the trade breaking happened November 13.
WHOA!!!!! Blue Jays are on the verge of acquiring Josh Johnson from the Miami Marlins. Mark Buehrle to! ARE YOU KIDDING ME Jose Reyes is headed to Toronto. The Marlins are also throwing in Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck.
Toronto Blue Jays fans could no longer complain about the team being cheap because that trade pushed their payroll to roughly 115 million. It would surely head for 120 million once the Jays settled all their arbitration cases. The Jays were going to have their highest payroll in franchise history in 2013.
And hey that 73 win team that looked like it was going to need a miracle to contend anytime soon just turned into a legitimate force in the AL East in just one trade. You add Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle to a pitching staff that already had Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero and J.A. Happ and Jose Reyes to a lineup that already had Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie and you’ve got yourself a contender at the very least.
Like mentioned earlier this trade happened 2 weeks into the offseason so everyone knew there was still 4 and a half months for the Blue Jays to get even better. Everyone in Toronto, Blue Jays fan or not knew it was as exciting time to be a Blue Jays fan.
In many interviews Alex Anthopoulos has done this offseason he says he learned from past offseason’s to put all his focus on one transaction at a time. That sounds like a blatant lie when you consider the fact that the Blue Jays signed the 2nd biggest free agent hitter Melky Cabrera 3 days after the franchise altering trade with the Marlins. (Josh Hamilton was the top free agent hitter just in case you forgot).
It’s hard to say what sounds more unbelievable: that the Blue Jays got Melky to sign in just 3 days or that the Jays were somehow working on the Marlins trade and the Melky signing at the same time.
The Blue Jays signing of Melky Cabrera is about as unbelievable as it gets. Melky is coming off 2 straight 4 WAR seasons. He was the NL batting champion in 2012, the all-star game MVP and had as good a chance to be the NL MVP as anyone. Despite all of this Melky signed for 2 years and 16 million dollars two and a half weeks into the offseason. Coming off a PED suspension or not you would think he’d want to play the market for longer to maximize his earnings. With the way money is being thrown around now a days in baseball Melky committed a crime on himself signing for that cheap so early in the offseason. It’s also unbelievable because he signed for 2 years because you’d think Melky would have been better off signing a 1 year deal to reestablish his value for a bigger payday next offseason. Melky is by no means the key to the Jays offense and they’re certainly not paying him like someone who is but if he can repeat his last 2 seasons in his time with the Jays this could be one of the best free agent contracts of all time for any team.
After these 2 transactions no Jays fan could complain if AA wanted to call it an offseason. It seemed like that’s what he was doing for a month until we found out that the Blue Jays were acquiring the NL CY Young award winner R.A. Dickey. Dickey agreed to a contract extension with the Jays for the same terms he asked the New York Mets for 2 years and 25 million, which people considered a “home town discount”. In a world where we’re used to seeing pro athletes milk every last penny out of teams Dickey showed his number one priority is winning because he gave the Jays the same home town discount as he would have given the Mets.
So if you haven’t been keeping score this offseason that’s 2 elite starting pitchers, a middle of the rotation starter that’s thrown 200 innings 12 straight season, 2 great hitters and 2 super utility players. No team added that much talent this offseason. In fact it’s hard to think of any team that’s ever added this much talent in one offseason. The Blue Jays won the offseason. Now it’s finally time to see if they can win when it matters.