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Dickey and Thole Oct. 2 against the Marlins.
GM Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays organization have spent enough seasons in the basement of the AL East.
Now, the Jays look to take advantage of a weakening division after a few of this offseason’s most shocking moves thus far.
Player acquisitions aside, the hiring of John Gibbons in November was the best managerial move they could have made. Gibbons was the Jays manager from 2004 to 2008, and his tenure included a second-place finish in the highly-competitive AL East in 2006.
Gibbons will lead this team of newly acquired All-Stars to the promise land in 2013.
Commisioner Selig made the offseason-defining deal with Miami official on Nov. 20 that sent Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio to the Jays in return for Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis, Henderson Alvarez and prospects Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani.
The Jays keeping catcher J.P. Arencibia was an important aspect of the deal. The 26-year-old Arencibia has been a solid offensive and defensive catcher for the Jays over the last couple of seasons.
If the mega-deal wasn’t enough, Arencibia will have the challenge of catching knuckleballer and Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, who signed a two-year, $25 million extension after being traded from the Mets.
While the initial reaction for Mets fans will likely be disgust at first, catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and Class-A pitcher Noah Syndergaard were some of the most prized possessions in the Jays organization and a great acquisition for the Mets.
Dickey will top off a rotation that includes Johnson, Buehrle, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero.
Other notable signings by the Jays this offseason include Melky Cabrera, who, in the midst of steroid allegations, batted .346 last season, and Maicer Izturis.
The Jays are certainly the favorite to not only win the AL East, but also the World Series in 2013.