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
8 of 9

Blue Jays acquire David Price from the Detroit Tigers for Daniel Norris, Matthew Boyd and Jairo Labourt

Back during the Jays’ contending years in 2015 and 2016, the GM at the time in Alex Anthopoulos was heavily criticized for emptying the farm system in exchange for just a “chance” at a championship in an “all-or-nothing” mentality. When the Jays eventually headed into a rebuild starting from 2017, many believed that was a by-product of those moves that were made. 

But when it comes to the huge trade at the 2015 deadline in which the Jays acquired Cy Young winner David Price from the Tigers for three of their top prospects in the system, that particular one actually turned out to be the right move in the end. With the Jays hovering around a .500 record at the time but still within reach of a playoff spot, the addition of Price became a huge game-changer for the club. He practically single-handedly put the Jays on his back and carried them into the postseason by pitching to a sparkling 9-1 record with a 2.30 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, with 87 strikeouts in just 74.1 innings of work down the stretch.

On the other hand, as a former second round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft and number one prospect in the Jays’ organization, Daniel Norris turned out to be quite the disappointment, with a career ERA close to 4.70 and WHIP close to 1.40 WHIP while moving about around the league in recent years. Similarly for Matthew Boyd, he had a couple serviceable years with the Tigers, but is currently without a team for the 2024 season. Finally, Jairo Labourt only saw six games in total at the major league level, and was entirely out of baseball by 2018. That has certainly made Anthopoulos’ gamble much more palatable in the end. Price’s stay with the Jays may have been short-lived, but he helped inspire the winning culture in their clubhouse that eventually carried through for another season in 2016. Nevertheless, his joyous smile and his love for popcorn at Rogers Centre will always be remembered.