The Best Toronto Blue Jays Trade Deadline Moves of All Time
The Toronto Blue Jays have had their fair share of spectacular trade deadline moves in the past.
Whether it was acquiring players for a long-term goal, or maybe picking up a guy to help them make a World Series push, the Jays have done it all.
That being said, they've also made some pretty abysmal calls from the management side, but let's be honest—which team hasn't?
With the trade deadline inching closer and closer, we take a look back on Toronto's best deadline acquisitions—the ones which had the most impact, and the one's that helped the ballclub exactly the way they needed to.
1978: Alfredo Griffin
In this deal, the Blue Jays traded away Victor Cruz, a hard-throwing right-hander coming off a stellar rookie season, to the Cleveland Indians, in exchange for rookie shortstop Alfredo Griffin and minor league corner man Phil Lansford.
Although Lansford never made it to the bigs, it was Griffin everyone was buzzing about.
Griffin was signed at age 16 by the Indians in 1973, and by the time he got to Triple-A he tore the cover off the ball, sitting among the league leaders in stolen bases, hits and triples. His slick fielding was also a trademark.
Although the Indians called him up in September of '77 and '78, he never saw much playing time. So instead, they shipped him north of the border into the welcoming hands of the Blue Jays.
He was instantly given the starting job at shortstop, but it didn't stop there.
In 1979, he was voted Co-Rookie of the Year with Minnesota Twins star John Castino. That year, Griffin batted .287 in 153 games to go along with 22 doubles, 10 triples, 21 stolen bases and 81 runs scored.
The following season, he set an American League record for most triples by a switch-hitter in a single season with 15. He was also an All-Star in 1984 and won a gold glove in 1985.
Griffin went on to play 18 illustrious seasons in the majors, winning three World Series in process (Los Angeles in 1988 and Toronto in 1992-93), while Cruz was saddled with an injury-riddled career that sidelined him a few years after that trade.
1990: Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar
This was the blockbuster of all blockbuster trades in Blue Jays history.
At the 1990 trade deadline, then GM Pat Gillick traded away Tony Fernandez, a three-time All-Star, and Fred McGriff, a tremendous power threat, to the San Diego Padres for veteran Joe Carter and a no-named Roberto Alomar.
When you look back on that trade 22 years later, you instantly think "World Series." Joe Carter was a savvy veteran who knew how to lead young players, but it was Alomar who highlighted the trade.
Toronto was Alomar's coming-out party, and he flourished, ultimately solidifying himself as one of the best second baseman ever.
In his five years with the club, he was a five-time All-Star, won five gold gloves, batted at least .300 every year except one (.295) and stole 50 or more bases twice. Not to mention, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 as a Blue Jay.
In the next three seasons, Joe Carter had 100 or more RBI, hit 30 or more homers, was an All-Star each season and hit "the homerun" that was heard all over Canada.
At the end of the day, both teams were satisfied with the trade, but it was the Jays who came out on top, ultimately winning two world championships following the deal.
2008: Jose Bautista
As you probably know by now, no one really knows who Robinzon Diaz is, mainly because he fell out of the league in 2009 after a mediocre 49 games played for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
So for now, he's known as the "other guy" in the Bautista trade.
Jose Bautista: Silver Slugger Award recipient, Hank Aaron Award recipient, two-time home run derby candidate (a finalist his second time around), two-time All-Star and the owner of a five-year $64 million contract.
Needless to say, Bautista is one of the biggest steals in Blue Jays history. He provides, offense, defense, base-running ability, leadership and an overall great baseball I.Q. So it shouldn't be a shocker to see him on this list.
The Blue Jays got the high end of this deal, the much higher end.
2009: Edwin Encarnacion
But these days, 2009 seems like ages ago as Edwin has grown to be a stellar hitter and an offensive juggernaut for the Blue Jays thus far.
Granted, when he first rolled into Toronto, he struggled both at the dish and in the field, batting .244 with 18 errors and a .932 fielding percentage.
In 2012, it's a different Edwin.
He's been a constant in the heart of the Jays lineup, batting .298 with 27 home runs and an unbelievable .998 fielding percentage at first base—he's made one error this season in 467 total chances.
Scott Rolen will always be a veteran, but he has yet to slug over 20 homers in his Reds tenure and has yet to hit above .285. I see this as a win for the birds.
Edwin, like Jose Bautista, seems to be in the midst of his prime at a later age, earning himself a three-year $27 million contract extension, and garnering respect from around the league.
2011: Colby Rasmus
Rasmus was slated to be a franchise guy for the St. Louis Cardinals, but things went awry pretty quick, and he was never able to live up to his potential since.
Then he got traded to the Blue Jays in 2011 in the three-team trade with the Chicago White Sox and Cardinals where the Jays gave up Marc Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel, Zach Stewart, Jason Frasor and Corey Patterson.
It shows with his .243/.310/.453 slash line for 2012 to go along with his weekly highlight-reel catches.
Honorable Mention 1998: Re-Acquiring Tony Fernandez
A gold glover, an All-Star and a leader in the clubhouse, Fernandez made his big league debut with the Jays back in 1983 and stayed with the club until 1990.
After jumping around with a few teams (including the Jays), he was figured to be washed up.
Then in 1998, the Jays reacquired him, only to revitalize his hitting career, at he batted .321 and .328 in 98' and 99', leading to yet another All-Star selection (five in total).