BY CLAYTON RICHER – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Alex Anthopoulos caught Blue Jays nation by storm putting his employers money where his mouth is completing a blockbuster 12-player deal with the Miami Marlins. The Silent Assassin was able to accommodate the Jays off-season needs with a single shrewd transaction sending prospects for proven talent and instantly made the Jays a contender in the AL East. The Jays landed perennial All-Star Jose Reyes along with top of the rotation starter Josh Johnson, veteran lefty Mark Buehrle, speedster Emilio Bonifacio and former Blue Jay John Buck. The additions come with a hefty price tag of $155.25 million during the tenure of the contracts.
The Jays sent a plethora of potential to Miami in the likes of Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani along with shortstop Yunel Escobar and backstop Jeff Mathis.
Initial reaction on social media was rampant with the vast affection towards the Blue Jays.
Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple
— Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo818) November 13, 2012
— Casey Janssen (@CaseyJanssen) November 14, 2012
Paul Beeston is one of the best men in Baseball. Period
— ToddStottlemyre (@ToddStottlemyre) November 14, 2012
I’m not gonna do whatever body thinks I’m gonna do and freak out! Ugh, I need a bath.
— Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins) November 14, 2012
Love this trade.
— Gregg Zaun (@greggzaun) November 14, 2012
jays getting good players play hard whit fun good luck to my boys love thos guys they play hard for me and very profesional
— Ozzie Guillen (@OzzieGuillen) November 14, 2012
TOR GM Alex Anthopoulos told a friend last week that he was working on a pie-in-the-sky trade that he didn’t think would happen. But it did.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 14, 2012
In Reyes, the Jays acquire a 29-year-old four time All-Star who will oversee the shortstop position for years to come. Reyes is still owed $96 million over the next five years with a $22 million team option in 2018.
The deal immediately added two quality arms to the starting rotation and arguably a number one in Josh Johnson.
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Johnson is a year removed from a shoulder inflammation injury that cost him almost an entire season. Johnson is a free agent after the 2013 season earning $13.75 million this upcoming year. Johnson has been an opening day starter three times as a Marlin and boasts a career 56-37 record with a 3.15 ERA during his eight year career. Here is hoping the Blue Jays can lock up Johnson long term before he hits the open market.
In Mark Buehrle, the Jays acquire a much-needed workhorse who has logged over 200 innings for 12 consecutive seasons. Buehrle is no stranger to the AL East playing 11 years in the American league as a member of the Chicago White Sox. Buehrle, with a career 3.82 ERA, is owed $48 million over the next three seasons however he will bring much needed veteran leadership to a young Jays rotation.
Emilio Bonifacio can play a multitude of positions including second base and is coming off an injury-riddled season where he still managed to swipe 30 bases in 64 contests. Bonifacio had a career season in 2011 batting .296 with 40 stolen bases splitting time at six positions.
Veteran backstop John Buck returns to the Blue Jays after a disappointing season in Miami batting .192 with 12 big flies. Buck will take over as the backup to JP Arencibia after the departure of Jeff Mathis.
The deal proves to the baseball world that the Toronto Blue Jays are committed to winning and will be a force to be reckoned with and I have a feeling they’re not done yet.
Bring on the spring.