22 years ago Pat Gillick and the Toronto Blue Jays made the biggest trade in franchise history when they moved Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the San Diego Padres for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar.
We all know how that turned out.
3 straight AL East titles, 2 pennants, 2 World Series trophies, Robbie’s in the Hall of Fame… and so is Pat.
And now, on November 14, 2012 we sit and wait for the MLB offices to put their stamp of approval on a trade that may become 1b to that 1990 trade.
Senior VP and GM, Alex Anthopolous is reportedly inches away from landing 4 players who have All-Star on their resume and a speedy bench player that can fit into no fewer than 6 positions on the diamond. In one swipe (meaning both “the motion of a hand” and also “theft”) AA has addressed the glaring holes in his starting rotation and made his catching position a spot of major league depth that can be traded for more help.
Welcome (reportedly) to the Toronto Blue Jays:
SP – Josh Johnson
SP – Mark Buehrle
SS – Jose Reyes
C – John Buck
IF/OF – Emilio Bonifacio
Johnson and Buehrle are great additions to the starting rotation. We’re talking about 65 starts and hopefully about 30 wins. It’s also a dynamic SS who can field, run and hit AND can hit lead-off which moves Brett Lawrie out of that spot and into a spot where he can drive in some runs. John Buck coming back to Toronto means that a catcher is getting traded… either him or JP (sorry ladies) are probably on their way out for more pitching or a hitter. Emilio Bonifacio brings a great name and tons of options to the lineup.
Now, we all know that to get talent you’ve got to move talent and that’s the hard part for fans. In this deal it looks like the Blue Jays will say goodbye to a starting pitcher, 2 middle infielders, a catcher and minor league prospects. Seeing the 2 Cubans heading to Miami makes some sense for the Marlins franchise who will desperately trying to find a way to keep fans interested in the team. Alvarez is a good young pitcher with his entire career ahead of him. Jeff Mathis is a serviceable catcher who can probably play every day. And the prospects are worth keeping an eye on.
Moving to Miami (reportedly) are:
SP – Henderson Alvarez
SS – Yunel Escobar
SS – Adeiny Hechavarria
C – Jeff Mathis
OF – Jake Marisnick
P – Anthony Desclafani
P – Justin Nicolino
Last night as news of the trade broke and Twitter exploded (as it does when these things happen) it wasn’t just fans chiming in with their thoughts and reactions to the move.
If this deal gets done (and I assume that it will) the Toronto Blue Jays have just taken a big step in their progress and the AL East. The starting pitching issue needed to be attended to and while there are still holes in LF and perhaps 1B to figure out – this. is. HUGE.