8 Blue Jays trade heists people don’t talk about enough

Which trades in Toronto Blue Jays history have they come out clearly on top even though some haven’t realized it?
Sep 24, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN   Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19)
Sep 24, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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Blue Jays acquire Edwin Encarnación, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart from the Cincinnati Reds for Scott Rolen

On paper, the transaction doesn’t really appear to be as lopsided as it looks, with a superstar Hall of Famer going one way in exchange for three promising players with potential going the other way. However, it was what transpired in the years following the elusive trade in 2009 that has made this one of the Jays’ all-time trade steals.

Despite not being in the playoff hunt at the time, the Reds were looking to add a veteran presence to their lineup to help lead their young core to success down the road. When the Jays made Scott Rolen available due to his waiving of his no-trade clause, the Reds got their man while the Jays received three potentially useful pieces in return. Rolen would pay off somewhat for the Reds in the following three years, as he led the team to the playoffs for two of them. However, his overall production fell off considerably following his 2010 season.

For both Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart, they eventually turned into side notes after their short tenure with the club. On the other hand, Edwin Encarnación would go on to become one of the main offensive catalysts for the Jays for over half a decade despite an initial setback after joining the team. He was named an All-Star in three of those seasons, along with averaging close to 38 home runs and 110 RBI each year in his prime. In eight seasons with the team, Encarnación hit .268 with an .878 OPS, 239 home runs and 679 RBI in just one game shy of 1000.

Jays fans had the luxury of seeing him “carry the parrot” in his home run trots for many game-changing moments. Most noteworthy was his memorable walk-off three-run blast in the bottom of the 11th inning to help the Jays prevail over the Baltimore Orioles in the 2016 AL Wild Card Game. In doing so, he has become one of the best players to have played for the Jays in recent memory as a result, which has made the surprising trade off of Rolen a huge steal for the team in the end.