Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has consummated one of the largest trades in team history following a pair of relatively quiet off seasons. Social media erupted, Tuesday when news broke regarding a series of moves between the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays.
To Miami went MLB’ers Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis, Henderson Alvarez and Adeiny Hechavarria as well as prospects Jake Marisnick, and Justin Nicolino and Lansing standout Anthony DeSclafani.
In return,Toronto landed Starting Pitchers Josh Johnson & Mark Buehrle as well as All Star Jose Reyes, utility player Emilio Bonifacio and former Blue Jay Catcher, John Buck.
Here’s a brief look at the talent acquired by Toronto in this blockbuster deal:
JJ (RHP) started 31 games forMiamiin 2012 while posting an 8-14 record with an ERA of 3.81 over 191.1 Inning’s Pitched. Johnson, 28, has made 2 All Star squads over his 8 year career in the Bigs and has worked his way into becoming a front of the rotation starter since breaking in to the MLB back in 2005.
Johnson features an array of pitches including a Change-up, Curveball, and Slider that all compliment a mid 90’s Fastball that has kept National League hitters to a modest .243 Batting Average when used as a Starter.
Buehrle (LHP) is an absolute work horse and is coming off his 12th consecutive 200+ Inning’s pitched season after spending one year inMiami. 2012 saw Buehrle allow the fewest Hits in a season (197) since his 2001 campaign while withChicago when he set a career low at 188.
Buehrle, a command pitcher by trade, can cut his Fastball while keeping opponent hitters honest with a steady mix of Change-ups, Sliders and Curveballs. Buehrle will keep a steady pace and often get ahead in the count while facing opposing hitters.
Reyes, a 29 year old Infielder, joins the Blue Jays after hitting .287 (5th highest average during his 10 year career) in 2012 while compiling a .347 OBP to go with 11 Home Runs and 57 RBI. A 4 time All Star, Reyes will provide the Blue Jays with a veteran presence while taking over for Yunel Escobar at Shortstop.
A prototypical (switch hitting) lead off hitter, Reyes possesses both an ability to get on base and steal bags at will having accumulated a total of 410 stolen bases in 513 career attempts.
Buck (31) had a career year in 2010 posting highs in AVG (.281), RBI (66) 2B (25) and Home Runs (20) while getting into 118 with the Blue Jays and making his lone All Star game selection. Unable to recapture the streak he had in 2010, Buck finds himself back in a Blue Jays uniform after spending the past 2 seasons with the Marlins.
Bonifacio (27) has played all 3 Outfield positions while also making appearances at 3rd, Shortstop and 2nd base over his 6 year career in the Bigs. In 1838 MLB Plate Appearances, Bonifacio has posted a .267/.329/.343 slashline while providing steady defense in the field.
For the time being, Bonifacio can be viewed as an upgrade in Left Field if Gose proves to be unready to start the season at the MLB level. Bonifacio also offers a platoon scenario at 2nd base as Izturis has been known to struggle vs LHP.
*As of Tuesday, night nothing is official so if you’ve started planning the parade for next October hang on to your hats.