Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 MLB offseason got off to a rousing start with the announcement of a blockbuster deal that shocked the baseball world.
The Toronto Blue Jays acquired shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, catcher John Buck and center fielder/second baseman Emilio Bonifacio from the Miami Marlins.
In return, the Marlins received shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez, catcher Jeff Mathis, outfield prospect Jake Marisnick, pitching prospects Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino and cash.
The trade didn't just put the Blue Jays in the conversation for the AL East Division title next season, it vaulted them into pennant contenders as well.
Reyes will likely sit atop the batting order, along with newly acquired left fielder Melky Cabrera, providing table-setting opportunities for sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.
Johnson and Buehrle will help provide quality in a starting rotation that was badly beaten up last season.
For a team that hasn't had a sniff of the playoffs since their last World Series title in 1993, this deal is a game-changer and could very well help end a very long drought.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.