Thoughts on the Blue Jays/Marlins Mega-deal
On Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins shocked many by agreeing to a 12 player “mega-trade” that rocked the baseball world. The Marlins sent Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle, Jose Reyes, John Buck, Omar Infante, and cash considerations to Toronto in exchange for Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony Desclafani, and a trio of promising prospects (Justin Nicolino, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick).
It’s not hard to see why the Blue Jays did this deal as this greatly improves their chances at a division crown as soon as next season. With the rebuilding of the Red Sox, aging of the Yankees, and Baltimore expected to fall back to earth, the Blue Jays are in a great spot. MLB Depth Charts projects this as the Jays 2013 25 man roster as of right now:
Starting Lineup Bench
1 SS Jose Reyes C John Buck
2 LF Melky Cabrera 1B David Cooper
3 RF Jose Bautista IF Maicer Izturis
4 1B Edwin Encarnacion OF Rajai Davis
5 CF Colby Rasmus
6 3B Brett Lawrie
7 DH Adam Lind
8 C J.P. Arencibia
9 2B Emilio Bonifacio
Starting Rotation Bullpen
1 RHP Josh Johnson CL RHP Casey Janssen
2 LHP Mark Buehrle SU RHP Steve Delabar
3 RHP Brandon Morrow SU RHP Sergio Santos
4 LHP Ricky Romero MID LHP Darren Oliver
5 LHP J.A. Happ MID RHP Brad Lincoln
MID RHP Esmil Rogers
LR LHP Brett Cecil
As you can see, the Blue Jays look like a whole new team entering 2013, and there is still quite a bit of the offseason left. The Jays lineup immediately becomes among the most deadly in the game. With speed, power, and on base ability, the Jays have a well-rounded lineup, and a deep bench to go with it.
Toronto suffered through many issues in the rotation in 2012, but going into next season, they appear to have a deep staff. When healthy, Josh Johnson is an ace, something the Blue Jays haven’t had since Roy Halladay. Buerhle gives them the much-needed workhorse they desperately could have used last season. Before injuries struck, Morrow was having a very good 2012 season, and with a full season next year, he could blossom into the number 2 type starter that he has the potential to be. Romero had a horrendous 2012, but if he can return to anything close to his pre-2012 form, he is quite a luxury to have at the number 4 spot. Happ will likely man the 5th spot until any of Drew Hutchinson, Kyle Drabek, or Dustin Mcgowan returns from the DL. The bullpen, which was not affected by this trade, is very deep and with a healthy Sergio Santos, it very well could be among the best in baseball. As of right now, I’d probably put the Jays as the favorite in the AL East, although it is extremely close, with 4 teams in the division that will likely contend in 2013.
As for the Marlins, from a purely baseball standpoint, this deal isn’t too bad for them. They add quite a bit of young talent while ridding themselves of almost all their overpriced veterans. I’m a big fan of both Nicolino and Marisnick, so they are nice gets for Miami. With Marisnick, the Marlins now have a potential future outfield of him, Christian Yelich, and Giancarlo Stanton. Not bad.
But the main problem with this trade from the Miami perspective is the alienation of the fan base. This has been widely discussed so I’m not going to go into full detail on this, but Marlins brass has basically screwed themselves over for as long as Loria is the owner. Baseball needs to take action here, as the hypocrisy in Miami is horrible not just for the Marlins, but the game in general.
Update 11/16/2012: The Toronto Blue Jays have signed Melky Cabrera to a two year deal worth $16 million. Changes in the projected lineup have been made to reflect the acquisition.
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