The Toronto Blue Jays are World Series favourites.
Okay, they were World Series favourites. For a brief period this week, after GM Alex Anthopoulos pulled off his second massive trade of the 2012 offseason acquiring NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, the Jays were at the top of the list for Vegas oddsmakers.
Since then, expectations for the Jays have tailed off slightly, at least according to bookies but the point is, the Jays are relevant again.
All it took was two blockbuster deals that changed both the reputation of Anthopoulos and Rogers Communications, the historically spending-challenged owners of the Blue Jays. The Jays will head into 2013 with heightened expectations, plenty of new faces and a huge amount of buzz.
Perhaps the most drastic changes the Jays have made are ones to their starting rotation.
2012 ended with the Jays rotation featuring Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Henderson Alvarez, Carlos Villanueva and Aaron Laffey. Only Romero, Morrow, and Alvarez were in the rotation at the beginning of the season.
The revolving door that was the Jays starting rotation saw Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison and Luis Perez all go down with Tommy John surgery, Morrow spend time on the disabled list and Romero collapse into a shadow of himself.
However, heading into 2013, the Jays may have the best five-man rotation in the American League. Sporting three potential aces and having 2012's Opening Day starter relegated to the fifth spot, the team has improved drastically on paper.
Here's a look at how each of R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Romero will fare in 2013: