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  1. Give us the paper World Series… Woohoo!!

    Comment by KissMyPurpleButt — November 14, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  2. /AA places trophy next to consecutive Fangraphs GM of the year awards.

    Comment by This Guy — November 14, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  3. Blue Jays vs Dodgers 2013 world series!!!

    All thats left is JPA for Ogando deal and I’m set

    Comment by Fats — November 14, 2012 @ 11:10 am

  4. If the Yankees don’t get younger, the Red Sox are still rebuilding and the Orioles of 2012 were a fluke, the AL East is a 2-team race between the Rays and Jays.

    I doubt the Jays could get to the 2013 postseason through the wild card though. If just one of the teams I mention above does well, then the Rays are fighting the Rays for the wild card, in addition to fighting with at least one AL West team (Rangers, Angels, possibly even the A’s again).

    Comment by Fred — November 14, 2012 @ 11:12 am

  5. Age doesn’t matter as much as talent. It’s more an issue of “If the Yankees don’t get a real right fielder”

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 14, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  6. The Rays are fighting the Rays?

    It’s good to see someone speak from reasonableness instead of immediately anointing the Jays world champs. After all, this is much of the same gang that underwhelmed Little Havana to the tune of a 69 win season. And lest you cite the supporting cast in Toronto, let us not forget that the supporting cast in Miami was pretty well-regarded pre-2012 as well. Let’s see how this plays out, hmm?

    Comment by ecp — November 14, 2012 @ 11:38 am

  7. even as a sox fan, I can’t help but respect (and even root for a little bit) AA and the Jays.

    Comment by st — November 14, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  8. I think the really impressive thing from the Jays perspective is that they still have a good number of decent prospects, it’s not like they left the cupboard bare.

    Comment by jimm6 — November 14, 2012 @ 11:42 am

  9. Maybe all this trade does is make the Blue Jays loo like contenders on paper. I don’t care. This is a blockbuster of a deal and it makes me happy. The Jays weren’t going to add names through free agency. Nobody would have wanted to sign here. They play on astro turf, the team has been a .500 for a long time (and much worse last year), and the manager wanted to be elsewhere (among other things). They may not – and probably won’t – sign any big name free agents, but it is far more likely today that other players consider moving Toronto as a result of this trade.

    It’s all about perception and appearances. Right now, it appears as though the Blue Jays are opening the purse strings and are committed to winning. They want to go for it. It feels like a long time since the last time that was the case.

    The news of this trade, on top of the release of the first new Soundgarden record in 16 years, made me a very happy boy today. Plus, that the trade comes at the expense of Jeffrey Loria, who killed my beloved Expos, also pleases me greatly.

    Comment by Slade — November 14, 2012 @ 11:54 am

  10. The only gripe I have with the article is that Drabek was one of the starters who got injured. Saying that injuries forced him to get starts isn’t exactly true. Other than that, nice article, and as a lifelong Jays fan who just missed the glory years, I am over the moon right now.

    Comment by Fitz — November 14, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

  11. Hey. They won on the field last year… 2012 Grapefruit League CHAMPS!

    Comment by Damaso's Burnt Shirt — November 14, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  12. The Blue Jays already added and to their bullpen. They now have a bullpen stocked with a couple more hard throwing righties and whoever loses between Happ and Cecil for the 5th starter spot will then become a pretty good second LH specialist in the bullpen.

    Comment by Atari — November 14, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  13. Drats!!! I messed that up.

    The Blue Jays already added Esmil Rogers and Jeremy Jefress to their bullpen. They now have a bullpen stocked with a couple more hard throwing righties and whoever loses between Happ and Cecil for the 5th starter spot will then become a pretty good second LH specialist in the bullpen.

    Comment by Atari — November 14, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  14. Article mostly hits the mark, but it’s missing a few bullpen pieces. Aaron Loup was solid last year and Brad Lincoln was pretty sick before the trade. Both Frasor and Lyon are free agents and it looks unlikely that either will be back.

    Comment by GaryW — November 14, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  15. If they keep Ichiro and he keeps hitting his career averages, I think they’re good in right.

    Comment by Llewdor — November 14, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  16. I get that the Blue Jays are trying to seize the moment, Bautista only has so many years left, Boston is rebuilding and the Yankees may finally be getting too old…..

    Something tells me that this is an over reach that is going to blow up in their faces though. They are depending a lot on guys with long histories of injuries and missed time (J. Johnson, Reyes, Morrow, Romero) and while I guess I can see how the infield could be improved, the reality is the as much as K. Johnson and Escobar struggled at the plate last year, they have a much stronger track record than Bonifacio or Izturis.

    It’s certainly possible that Lawrie could emerge as a true star next year, and maybe Gose and d’Arnaud make some contributions as well, but I’d expect regression from Encarnacion and I fear that Bautista 6-8 WAR seasons are probably behind him.

    Buy hey, at least they’re going for it I guess. I’m sure Toronto fans are excited to be in the mix again, and that can only be good for the organization.

    Comment by CheeseWhiz — November 14, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

  17. Let’s get to it: What is Vegas going to set the O/U at? 83.5?

    Comment by jcxy — November 14, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

  18. Ah yes, perception and appearances. Somehow, some people have the perception that Alex A. is a fine general manager. Here are Toronto’s run differentials for the past 5 seasons:

    2008 +104
    2009 +27

    Then AA took the reins, and…

    2010 +27 again
    2011 -18
    2012 -68

    Why does anyone think that Anthopolous knows what he’s doing?

    Comment by That Guy — November 14, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

  19. Every year fangraphs felates AA and every year they miss the playoffs. I like the guy as much as the next reasonable person. However, I can see every piece traded for declining. They’re virtually all past their prime.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — November 14, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  20. He makes saber moves, is openly saber, and would “likely win any other division”. I agree with most of his moves at first, but he really hasn’t proven anything.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — November 14, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  21. Player performance has absolutely nothing to do with the general manager. If you want an explanation look no further than the strategy the manager used. Under Cito the jays swung for the fences and led the league in Hrs. Under Farrell-they had no real strategy other than give opponents free outs.

    Comment by Tim Raines — November 14, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

  22. You forgot to mention Brad Lincoln too in the bullpen, another high-leverage option.

    Comment by Jaysfan — November 14, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

  23. You do realize that AA blew the team up. You think a team is going to get better trading the following players for prospects (or letting them walk for picks):
    1) Roy Halladay
    2) Shaun Marcum
    3) Scott Downs
    4) Wells (after his 30HR season)
    5) John Buck (after his 20HR season to let JPA catch)

    Way to use your brain when coming up with your analysis of AA. Let D’Arnaud/Gose/Lawrie cut there teeth with the big league club.

    I can’t believe you are surprised that a rebuilding team regressed…haha you aren’t the brightest are you.

    Comment by Stanley's Cup — November 14, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

  24. wow, how almost sacrilegious is it to say its down to Jays and Rays, given how the division has been the Yanks and Sox for so long (and yes, even when it wasn’t, the Rays were merely seen as upstarts, not true contenders).

    Comment by Cidron — November 14, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

  25. simple st.. all you have to say is “if toronto is improved, and beats the yankees, that’s ok by me”. Sox are in rebuild mode, and yet the rivalry is there. Might not only be rooting for your Sox, but also for anybody who beats the Yankees, and the Jays look to …. be more capable of it.

    Comment by Cidron — November 14, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

  26. The trade was enough for the LVH SuperBook to drop the Blue Jays’ odds to win the 2013 World Series from 50-to-1 down to 15-to-1 and raise the Marlins from 100-to-1 to 200-to-1. (LVH = Las Vegas Hilton)

    multiple sites, post trade have the Jays O/U at 87.5 (and marlins at 69.5)

    Comment by Cidron — November 14, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

  27. you are right. They are all declining, but, not dramatically. At their best, they are all All-Star quality, whereas at worst, they are solid. This is assuming that they are healthy enough to play. And, there are only two injury risks as I see it. Johnson (as stated) has an arm that may just fall off. And, Reyes, is prone to a few little nagging ones of late. Nothing big, nor serious, just a couple days here, couple days there type. I dont see Bonifacio as a big risk, regardless of last year. If memory serves, his injuries were the bad luck (hit on hand by pitched ball) and a poor slide.. dont quote me, its memory that I am consulting here.

    Comment by Cidron — November 14, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

  28. To the guy who mentioned that Alex A. “blew up the team” and has been in rebuilding mode ever since: That’s called rationalizing. Or irrationalizing, actually.

    Year one, they stayed the same.
    Year two, they got substantially worse.
    Year three, substantially worse again.

    That is a very solid definition of the word “failure.”

    If Anthopolous truly did something that fits the definition of “blowing up” the Blue Jays, then what he did was, well, reckless and unnecessarily destructive. And the proof of that (not evidence; proof) is how well the team had performed in each of the two seasons *before* he ascended to GM.

    The team he took over wasn’t bad, or even mediocre. It was solid. Circumstances beyond his control forced him to trade Halladay, yes. Circumstances beyond his control also provided him with The Magical Jose Bautista Transformation from replacement-level journeyman utilityguy to All-Star uberslugger.

    Good trades and bad, bad luck and good: every GM has ‘em. Once they’ve been on the job three or four years, luck has evened out. So you look at the record. For AA, the record is failure.

    The trade helps for 2013, probably in a big way. With a break or two, the Jays might win 85-87 games. But when 2014 rolls around, Josh Johnson will be gone, and Buehrle plus Reyes will cost $40M… and in 2015 they’ll cost even more. That’s gonna leave a mark.

    Comment by One Swell Foop — November 15, 2012 @ 1:52 am

  29. I disagree with your assessment of failure (at least for a GM) and with the assertion that blowing up the Jays was destructive. The Jays were a .500 team with no clear path to being relevant in 2009, based on fan disinterest, lack of core pieces for the long term and a weak farm system. Any fan would rather have two 70 win seasons and two 90 win seasons than 4 80 win years, so a long term project was not a bad idea.

    The Jays were only in a position to make this trade because of the moves AA has made to restock the farm system, and that system is still well above average even after this move.

    Finally, anyone visiting Fangraphs should know luck does not ‘even out in the long term’, rather past luck (or lack of it) has no impact on the future. The Jays were unquestionable unlucky last year, no reasonable judge thought the roster AA constructed would only win 73 games before the injuries to their best hitter, pitcher and multiple other important pieces.

    Finally, Johnson may or may not be gone after 2013 but if he is the Jays will likely get a comp pick, and the salaries of the others will likely not look as high once the new TV money kicks into free agent salaries.

    The mark on AA should still be ‘unknown’ – history will judge him on the next 3 years not the last 3.

    Comment by Phil — November 15, 2012 @ 5:46 am

  30. ^Is this a joke?

    Losing Halladay is clearly legit, but the others? Umm…

    Marcum was exchanged for Lawrie, who despite a “down” year in 2011 was still worth 3 WAR. Lawrie was worth 2.7 WAR in 1/3 a season in 2011 too. Over the same time span, Marcum was worth 4.2 WAR. So swapping Marcum with Lawrie actually resulted in a 1.5 WAR upgrade, not a team downgrade as you suggested.

    Scott Downs is a nice reliever, but simply not a serious factor here in W/L record given the fungibility of relief pitching. The only season John Buck had with a >100 wRC+ was 2010. He produced 3.1 WAR in 2011 and 2012, largely buoyed by high playing time in 2011. You’re right, the team took a step back accepting 2.1 WAR for Arencibia over the same period, but I submit that the difference isn’t quite 1 WAR, because the Jays would not have given Buck the extra 100+ PA that the Marlins did in 2011.

    Now, big kudos to AA for selling high on Wells. He’s only been worth 1.1 WAR since his 2010 season. However, enthusiasm for this deal should be muted with the recognition that he then shipped out 7.5 WAR of Mike Napoli and received Frank Francisco in return.

    But really, I take issue with your claim that 2012 was destined to be a rebuilding season. You may have felt this, but this was not the prevailing wisdom, expressed in Vegas, Fangraphs, or even the public. 2012 was an abberation. This was already an 80-82 win team that got supremely unlucky and is poised–in the absence of bad luck–to be a contender this year in a “down” AL East.

    Comment by Bohr — November 15, 2012 @ 8:53 am

  31. The Yankees, even with some decline, ran away with the division this year until a late press by the Orioles. Worse, they actually lost some fairly major players due to injury last year who could have contributed: Gardner, Rivera, and Pineda. Returns by any of those guys makes a bigger hill to climb.

    Even with the Jays’ major improvements, they will be hard pressed to go toe-to-toe with the beast unless a few things go right for them this year (they finished 22 games back). With that said, this puts them in good position to fight for a playoff spot of some kind at least.

    Comment by B N — November 15, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  32. Yah, I gotta say- I don’t see how the Red Sox can compete next year. They need free agents or trades to fill holes, but the right guys to fill their needs aren’t on the market. It’s a bad year to need 1B, SS, and OF. I mean, who are the FA on the market?

    1B: LaRoche, Napoli, Youk
    SS: Drew, Scutaro
    OF: Bourne, Melky, Hamilton, Pagan, Ross, Suzuki
    SP: Greinke, Haren, Kuroda, Dempster, E. Jackson

    Interestingly, the SP market seems to be fairly deep, with a number of upside guys around (Marcum, Bedard, etc). The OF market is a bit dicey, especially at the top end where I’d say Hamilton and Bourne don’t earn their contracts but there are some more reasonable guys to hold down the position. Unfortunately, it’s basically impossible for the Red Sox to get much out of SS or 1B without a good trade. When your best options are to get two of the same guys you had last year, but older (Youk and Scutaro), that’s not a good sign. And with decline at two positions, I don’t see how the Red Sox can be very competitive in the AL East.

    Comment by B N — November 15, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  33. The Jays were actually “in a position to make this trade” because they — perhaps only they — were for some odd reason prepared to have a player payroll explosion.

    The (quality of) package of players that went from Canada to America’s Wang could have been matched by perhaps 25 other teams. Miami was dumping salary, not making a talent-for-talent trade.

    The enormous financial outlays to Buehrle and Reyes in 2014/15/16? Whatever happens to salaries over the next year, when 2014 rolls around, 35-year-old Mark Buehrle ($18M) will nevertheless almost certainly be one of the 8-10 highest-paid pitchers in baseball. (Then he gets more expensive the following year.) And Jose Reyes ($22M) will very likely be one of the 8-10 highest-paid position players.

    In 2014 and beyond, Reyes’ contract situation is quite risky, and Buehrle’s is flat-out nuts.

    This is a trade that, all aspects of money and talent considered, only measurably helps the Jays for one year. And when you look at the division in which they play, and the roster as of a few days ago, this wasn’t a team anywhere near contender-quality.

    Once the *other* A.L. East teams start making *their* off-season moves, it’ll become readily apparent that Toronto is still a 3rd or 4th-place team. The over/under is 87.5?! The last time the franchise won more than 87 games, Bill Clinton was President. I’ll take the under, for as much as you’d like to bet. ;)

    Comment by One Swell Foop — November 15, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  34. Your point about being prepared to take on payroll is fair, but to say 25 other teams could have made the trade is misleading, as for most it would mean gutting their farm. The Jays in 2009 would arguably not have been able to send prospects of that calibre at all, never mind doing so without touching their best position prospect or top 2 or 3 pitchers.

    I would take bets that by 2015 Beuhrle and Reyes are not paid top 8-10 i their positions once TV money comes in, which I bet was a factor for AA.

    Lastly, your comment that the Jays are a 3rd or 4th place team is just trolling – their is no sane argument that as currently constructed the Jays are better than the Os. The fact the Os won the division last year shows the over on 87 is far from unachievable

    Comment by Phil — November 15, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  35. I meant the Jays are better than the Os of course!

    Comment by Phil — November 15, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  36. I think the big things in this trade are: how much money traded hands and what prospects went back to Miami?

    If this trade was a straight-up salary dump, it would be reasonable for the Jays: they have some spare cash and think they’re in a position to make a run. The total amount of contracts they took on were about a fair deal. If they gave up prospects and got no salary relief, it starts looking like a worse deal pretty quickly though. On the bright side, while everyone is aging, only Reyes has a big enough contract to be an albatross.

    Comment by B N — November 15, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  37. As hard hit as the Yankees were with injuries, the Jays were probably hit worse. I’m not saying they would have been that much better than a .500 club but the would have been a lot closer than 22 games back.

    Comment by siggian — November 15, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  38. No, One Fell Swoop is not trolling with his third comment. He’s trolling with both entire posts.

    Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes of serious examination of the Blue Jays knows that their potential for contending has considerably increased every year under AA. You cannot just look at run differential or team record to get the whole story.

    Comment by siggian — November 15, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

  39. That’s true, B N, but you don’t get to start with your win total from last year. Ask the 102 win team who ran away with the NL East by 13 games in 2011, returned basically the same roster, and then only won 81 games in 2012.

    That’s not to say that the Yankees won’t be good in 2013…but they would seem to be a less talented team (at present) vs the 2012 squad. You list some stuff that went wrong for the Yankees. True. But there was also a lot that went right.

    Plus, if they really are going to stay under the cap next year, adding a piece at the deadline becomes trickier.

    Comment by jcxy — November 15, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

  40. I know models are supposed to be heavily regressed in the preseason, but that marlins number seems pretty high, no?

    Especially with the prevailing wisdom being that Nolasco is not long for South Florida either…

    Comment by jcxy — November 15, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

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