Blue Jays: Toronto/Miami Trade, Reviewed Eight Years Later
After the 2011 season, Chicago White Sox superstar Mark Buehrle left the Windy City and signed a four-year deal with the Miami Marlins worth $55 Million. However, after just one season in Miami, the franchise was trying to cut a lot of new salary and he was included in the trade to Toronto. Buerhle was the definition of a workhorse pitcher as he came into Toronto with 12 straight seasons with at least 200 innings pitched per season. Buehrle would continue that streak for two more years in Toronto and then fall just four outs shy of reaching that mark in 2015. Manager John Gibbons tried giving Buerhle a chance to reach 200 innings as he gave him one day’s rest and put him back out on the mound for the final game of the year as he needed just six outs to reach 200. He wasn’t able to get out of the first inning as he allowed eight runs and would fall short of reaching the milestone. That would be Buehrle’s last career game.
Buehrle won double digit games in all three seasons with Toronto, including 15 in 2015 and was named an All-Star in 2014 when he finished the season with a 13-10 record and 3.39 ERA. During the 2015 season, the Blue Jays clinched a playoff berth for the first time in 23 years, however, although Buehrle led the league in complete games, he was left off the postseason roster. Known as one of the greatest teammates in baseball history, Buerhle was quoted by the Globe and Mail giving his view of not being included on the roster, “They’ve already talked to me. It’s tough, it sucks. But I understand the situation,” and “I haven’t been feeling the greatest the last month and we’ve got four guys that have been throwing the spit out of the ball. And they’re going to take it and run with this”
Buerhle’s career ended after that season and he finished his Blue Jays career with a 40-28 record and 3.78 ERA.
Many fans got really excited when they heard Jose Reyes was in the deal and thought it could be the next coming of Roberto Alomar. It looked like the team had a legit leadoff hitter and superstar infielder coming into the lineup. Reyes brought an exciting attitude to the game that teammates fed off of. He was just one season removed from winning the batting title with the New York Mets and had stolen at least 30 bases every full season he played.
Like Buehrle, Reyes had just signed a massive contract the season before in Miami in the way of a six year deal worth $102 Million, but after one season was traded to the Blue Jays. Reyes impressed early on in his tenure, however, as the seasons went on his defensive ability went from good to just down right costly. His range had depleted to the point he wasn’t getting anywhere close to balls he used to and he was booting easy ground balls that were right at him. Reyes was making an error every 20 chances he had.
Reyes would join a large package that was sent to Colorado during the 2015 run to the playoffs in exchange for Troy Tulowitzki. Reyes struggles continued with the Rockies and part way through the 2016 he was released, which he would try and make a comeback with the New York Mets. Reyes would have three moderate seasons with the Mets before retiring in 2018.
Reyes ended his Blue Jays career playing two and a half years for a total of 305 games where he batted .289 with a .334 OBP, 23 home runs, 122 RBI and was 61 for 71 in stolen bases. Unfortunately he’ll most be remembered for his defensive miscues in 2015 when he made 13 errors in 69 games during his final season.