Check out the jerseys hanging up for the Toronto
Marlins Blue Jays. Reyes, Johnson, Bonafacio, Buehrle. Just a part of the new players Toronto got to play north of the border this year. The Blue Jays have long seemed a team ready to take the next step, but they never have. They tried a few different methods. Former GM JP Ricciardi, tried to do it with big signings such as AJ Burnett and, ahem, BJ Ryan? New GM Alex Anthopoulos spent several years building the farm system starting with trading ace Roy Halladay. Well, after acquiring a nice core of young players including Brett Lawrie, and Brandon Morrow, Anthopoulos made some deals to swing for the fences this year. He picked a good year to do it too. The Red Sox are down for sure, the Yankees have serious injury concerns. Is this the year that Toronto gets back to the playoffs after a 20 year absence? If it is, it will be greatly dependent on how this next group of players perform this year and adapt to playing in the great white north.
Let’s see who they acquired to make that playoff (and maybe more) berth a reality. This could be long.
Major Off-Season Moves:
- Acquired SS Jose Reyes
- Acquired SP Josh Johnson
- Acquired SP Mark Buehrle
- Acquired OF/2B Emilio Bonafacio
- Signed OF Melky Cabrera
- Acquired SP RA Dickey
Toronto acquired 5 of the 6 players acquired in the off season are former or current All-Stars. This is a serious influx of talent for a team that already had a pretty good major league roster. Now they had to pretty much deplete their prospects still in the minor leagues, but sometimes that’s what you need to do. In a prefect world, a team can have a stocked minor league while still being a top major league team. I can guarantee that most fans would trade one World Series title if it means there will be a rebuilding phase a few years later. All these players are going to fill starting roles (Bonafacio being the shakiest) and will be significant upgrades over their predecessors.
We’ll get down to the nitty gritty after the jump. Onto the lineup. [Read more...]