Blue Jays: Who should we cheer for? Playoff bound former Jays

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 28: Josh Donaldson #27 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his grand slam with Edwin Encarnacion #10 in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 28, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 28: Josh Donaldson #27 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his grand slam with Edwin Encarnacion #10 in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 28, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 28: J.A. Happ #34 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at Fenway Park on September 28, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 28: J.A. Happ #34 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at Fenway Park on September 28, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The AL East Qualifiers

Boston Red Sox

I already mentioned the two AL East teams that have qualified for the playoffs, so I may as well start there when talking about former Blue Jays.

I also mentioned that the Blue Jays had made a deal with them earlier this year, which sent Steve Pearce to Boston in exchange for minor league shortstop Santiago Espinal. Pearce had spent roughly one and a half seasons in Toronto before the trade, and has made a pretty strong impact in Boston for his relatively inexpensive price.

The second Red Sox who formerly played in Toronto would be David Price, who will look to change his playoff reputation this year in Boston. He’s had a really solid year in Boston going 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 30 starts, but he’ll have to prove he’s better than the career 2-8 and 5.03 ERA he’s posted in the postseason in order to really win the hearts of Red Sox fans.

New York Yankees

One of the best value signings the Blue Jays have made in the last five years was bringing J.A. Happ back to Toronto. He was quietly excellent through his 2.5 seasons on this contract, and was even named the team’s top pitcher this season despite being traded to New York in July.

Since his arrival in the Bronx he’s been just as good or better, sporting a record of 7-0 in a new jersey, and an ERA of 2.69 in 11 starts. While the Yankees had some question marks in their rotation in the second half, Happ was the steady force they needed in order to pace the Wild Card picture. There’s even some talk that he could get the ball on Wednesday in the AL Wild Card game, though that honour likely goes to Luis Severino.

The other former Blue Jay in New York would be Adeiny Hechavarria, who played his first MLB games in Toronto back in 2012. He was later traded to Miami in the big deal that brought Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and more back, and eventually landed in New York this year to serve as depth in the middle infield.

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