posted on December 21, 2012 00:00
Over a month ago, the Toronto Blue Jays were in the gutter of the American League East just above the last place Boston Red Sox. The boys in blue finished the 2012 season with a 73-89 record and 22 games behind the division champion New York Yankees. Since free agency started on November 3rd, the Blue Jays have made more headlines than Lindsay Lohan.
On November 14th, the Jays and Miami Marlins rocked the baseball world when the two teams pulled off a 12 player Johnsontrade. Toronto shipped off shortstop Yunel Escobar, starter Henderson Alvarez, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, catcher Jeff Mathis, minor league pitchers Justin Nicolino and Anthony Desclafani and minor league outfielder Jake Marisnick to Miami in exchange for shortstop Jose Reyes, staff ace Josh Johnson, workhorse lefty hurler Mark Buehrle, infielder Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck, along with a reported $4 million cash.
You think the Jays were done shopping? Not even close.
Two days later, Toronto signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a two year, $16 million contract. Granted, the 28-year-old 2012 All-Star Game MVP is coming off a 50 game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs, but the Jays look at it as a low risk move that could pay big dividends in the long term.
It looked as if the team was done improving their team. Then Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos decided that in order to win, he needed a big Dickey.
As in R.A. Dickey. The 2012 National League Cy Young award winner.
Given a 72 hour window over this past weekend to negotiate a contract extension with Dickey, the Jays were able to come to terms Monday on a two-year, $25 million contract radickeywith the knuckleballing righty and then Anthopoulos dealt catcher John Buck (who he got in the Miami deal) highly touted catching prospect Travis d’Arnud, Class A right hander Noah Syndergaard, and 18-year-old Wuilmer Becerra in exchange for Dickey, and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas.
Here’s what the starting lineup looked like at the beginning of 2012:
LF: Rajai Davis, CF: Colby Rasmus, RF: Jose Bautista, 3B: Brett Lawrie, SS: Yunel Escobar, 2B: Kelly Johnson, 1B: Adam Lind, C: J.P. Arencibia, DH: Edwin Encarnacion
1. Ricky Romero, 2. Brandon Morrow, 3. Henderson Alvarez, 4. Kyle Drabek, 5. Drew Hutchinson
The starting lineup as of today:
LF: Melky Cabrera, CF: Colby Rasmus, RF: Jose Bautista, 3B: Brett Lawrie, SS: Jose Reyes, 2B: Emilio Bonifacio, 1B: Edwin Encarnacion, C: J.P. Arencibia, DH: Adam Lind
1. R.A. Dickey (20-6, 2.73 ERA), 2. Josh Johnson (8-14, 3.81 ERA), 3. Brandon Morrow (10-7, 2,96 ERA) 4. Mark Buehrle (13-13, 3.74 ERA), 5. Ricky Romero (9-14, 5.77 ERA).
Roto-Rooter better be prepared to be on call next year because the top of the American League East is going to be clogged.
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