Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why are the Jays Going for it Now?

We are in the midst of arguably the most exciting off season in Blue Jays history. Alex Anthopoulos has put smiles on many Blue Jays fans faces, by bringing in names like R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Melky Cabrera, Emilio Bonifacio, and Mark Buehrle. I have yet to see a contending Blue Jays team in my lifetime, but it would appear that the Jays will in fact contend in 2013. Before this off season, we thought we had Anthopoulos figured out. We all thought that his strategy was to build a contender with young, controllable players, and a stellar farm system. What he did was turn that stellar farm system into proven MLB talent, while keeping all of those controllable MLB players, which makes for a solid core that might just win a World Series in the coming year(s). One question that I am sure went through all of your heads was "Why are we doing this now?". Well, I have a few reasons why.

The first reason why this all makes sense right now is Jeffrey Loria. You knew that the Marlins would have another fire-sale this year, after making their big splash last year, that went horribly wrong. Usually, I wouldn't want to get players from a fire-sale, because most often they consist of overpaid players whose contracts have turned out to be massive failures, (see: Red Sox-Dodgers trade from this year) but what was so unique about the trade that the Jays made with the Marlins is that the players the Marlins traded away were guys who don't have terrible contracts, and all are legitimately impact players. So what Loria did is he treated the deal like it was the Red Sox-Dodgers trade, but traded away players that still make a huge impact on any team. Anthopolous took full advantage of that, in what in my opinion was one of the most lopsided deals I have ever seen.

Secondly,  getting the reigning Cy Young award winner for such a huge discount made the decision to go "All-In" much easier. Regardless of the great Minor League talent that the Jays had to give away for him, he is still making only $5 million  next year. It would be fair to say that there's not a team in the MLB who wouldn't give R.A. Dickey $5 million to pitch for them 2013 after the year that he had last season. To put this into a better context, Dickey is making just over a 6th of what Alex Rodriguez will make in 2013. And as you all know, A-Rod will be riding the pine for the majority of the 2013 season.

On top of all of that, the Jays will only pay Dickey $24 million combined in 2014 and 2015. That's a good price even if his stats get slightly worse, and he becomes more like the pitcher he was in 2010-2011. $3.7 million per WAR is pretty good, especially when you consider the fact that prices will skyrocket in the next couple of years due to the added TV revenue clubs will be getting ($25 million/year).

If Bautista's wrist heals from his surgery
like it is supposed to, we will be seeing a lot
 of this in the next few years.
Another thing to look at is that we really can't let the primes of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista go to waste. Although there was much promise in young players like Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, and Justin Nicolino, by the time that they could be impact players, both Encarnacion and Bautista are on the cusp of retirement, and most likely won't be the players they are today. Those two 3-4 in our lineup provides a deadly power combo that is almost as good as the Fielder/Cabrera combo in Detroit.AA even stated that it would have been one of his greatest faults to not contend while those 2 are still mashing the ball out of the park. Now, instead of the Jays only real offensive production coming from those 2, they have many great players to back them up(hopefully).

The lineup is powerful, the rotation looks un-hittable, and the bullpen appears to be very strong. We should thank Alex Anthopolous for these great gifts that he has given us. Oh yeah, and watch out for those Jays come October. The time is now. Flags Fly Forever.

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