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Toronto Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes and GM Alex Anthropoulos
And finally, the team that turned their future around, the Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto has been stuck in neutral for the longest time, having trouble winning games in the extremely competitive American League. The Blue Jays haven’t even been to the playoffs since 1993, when they won their second consecutive World Series. That’s quite the postseason draught if you ask me.
But now, that’s bound to change after a couple of moves that makes Toronto a contender instead of a pretender.
Let’s start off with the trade that shocked a nation. That may be a bit exaggerated, but did anyone really see this trade happening? I didn’t think so. Toronto hauled in a lot of star power for virtually nothing they really needed.
They got themselves a starting shortstop, a starting catcher, a starting second baseman and two frontline starting pitchers.
But Toronto didn’t really need that starting catcher or their projected starting catcher of the future. They traded John Buck, Travis d’Arnaud and two prospects to the New York Mets for Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey and change.
Toronto also managed to add the All-Star Game MVP and suspended slugger, Melky Cabrera.
This was Toronto’s starting lineup on Opening Day last season: Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson, Jose Bautista, Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie, Eric Thames, J.P. Arencibia and Colby Rasmus.
Here’s what Toronto’s starting lineup will likely look like on Opening Day this season: Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Colby Rasmus, Adam Lind, J.P. Arencibia and Emilio Bonifacio.
See the difference?
Aside from the offense, the Blue Jays now have one of the top starting rotations in baseball that is bound to win a ton of games. From top (Dickey) to bottom (Ricky Romero), Toronto basically has an ace going for them each day—something that every team envies, and also fears should they have to face the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays were division dwellers, but are clearly now World Series contenders.