a 2012 Toronto Blue Jays Baseball: Blue Jays Blockbuster Trade
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Toronto Makes Jump from Pretender to Contender through Trades and Signings

The team from up north got a lot stronger this week and looks to make a push in the ever strengthening AL East

 

Toronto Blue Jays hats & merchandiseThe Toronto Blue Jays made a statement this week to their opponents in the American League Eastern Division; we mean business and we want to win. The Blue Jays came out with guns blazing on Tuesday when GM Alex Anthopoulos took advantage of the Marlins’ latest fire-sale and pulled off a twelve-player deal that greatly changed the make-up of the Blue Jays’ major-league roster and bolstered their chances to make some noise in the power-heavy AL East. The Blue Jays bolstered their starting rotation by adding All-Star left-hander Mark Buehrle and right-hander Josh Johnson, added depth to their infield by getting All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, and they also received catcher John Buck and utility player Emilio Bonifacio in the deal. In return, the Blue Jays only parted ways with three big-league players, shortstop Yunel Escobar, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, and veteran catcher Jeff Mathis. The Jays sent four prospects to Miami as well, outfielder Jake Marisnick, pitchers Anthony Desclafani and Justin Nicolino and Cuban prospect Adeiny Hechavarria.

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The Blue Jays didn’t stop there however and on Friday they bolstered their outfield by signing free-agent Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million deal. The deal will be finalized following Cabrera undergoing a physical for the team. Cabrera had a breakout season in the 2012 which saw him lead the National League with a .346 batting average heading into the month of August. Cabrera also had 11 homers and 60 RBIs in 113 games before he was suspended on August 15 for 50-games after reportedly testing positive for a banned substance. Cabrera was eligible to play in the post-season for the San Francisco Giants, but the team declined to reinstate him for their eventual World Series run which more-or-less signaled that the team was prepared to part ways with him. The Blue Jays have decided to take a chance on Cabrera and should he continue to perform the way he did in the first half of 2012, he will add some serious punch to an offense that already showed signs of real promise last season.

The moves make Toronto an immediate contender in a division that saw the Red Sox and Rays fall off a bit in 2012 and the Orioles rise from the ashes to go toe-to-toe with the Yankees all season for the division crown. The Blue Jays have looked poised to make a move for the past three seasons, but they have never been able to gain enough momentum early to make a realistic push later in the season. Now the team will focus on finding a manager to replace John Farrell who was dealt to the Boston Red Sox on October 21. It was thought that there were only a few rookie candidates interested in the job including Indians’ bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and DeMarlo Hale, however with the number of moves that Toronto has made this week alone, the talent pool is likely to get a lot deeper as they now appear to be a team that is on the brink of doing something very special next season.

 

 

 

Robert Gonzalez
MLBCenter.com Staff Writer


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