TORONTO- Let’s say it, the Toronto Blue Jays clearly won the MLB non-waiver trade deadline. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos made the biggest splash and addressed all of the major needs to improve the ball club. But let’s be honest, nobody predicted that Anthopoulos would make this many moves in such a short period of time.
The significance of these deals is stunning given the fact that Anthopoulos didn’t do anything during last season’s trade deadline. But he made sure that he wouldn’t do the same this season.
The Blue Jays got the best shortstop in Troy Tulowitzki, an ace in David Price, two quality bullpen arms in LaTroy Hawkins and Mark Lowe, and a speedy outfielder in Ben Revere. That’s five impact players in the last five days. The Blue Jays changed 20 percent of their roster to make a big push of the playoffs.
After spending years of drafting and developing young arms, the Blue Jays were able to use most of them in trades. They gave up Jose Reyes, Felix Doubront and 11 minor league pitchers. Yes they depleted their farm system, but there are still plenty of valuable pieces left for the future like Dalton Pompey, Jon Harris, Anthony Alford and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Plus they manage to keep their young arms like Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna.
Looking at other teams in the AL East, the New York Yankees stood pat at the deadline and failed to address their starting rotation. The Baltimore Orioles didn’t do much other than acquiring Gerardo Parra and Junior Lake to help in the outfield. The Tampa Bay Rays traded reliever Kevin Jepsen and outfielder David DeJesus for prospects. While the Boston Red Sox traded Shane Victorino for infielder Josh Rutledge. The AL East division is probably the weakest division this season. The Blue Jays are in position for that 2nd wild card spot, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them catching the Yankees for the division lead.
Anthopolous may have save his job with these moves, but he is still under evaluation. Paul Beeston is in his final year as president and CEO for the Blue Jays and Rogers ownership will be looking for the next successor. Anthopoulos’ fate depends on whether or not if the Blue Jays make the playoffs.
Anthopoulos done a great job addressing their necessary needs. Now it is up to the players to get the job done. All it matters now is whether or not these moves will pay off. Their quest to end their 22-year playoff drought begins now.