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Blue Jays’ acquisitions ensure hope, not division title for 2013

Once again we have found the “winners” of the Hot Stove season, this time in 2012 being the Toronto Blue Jays of all teams. Barring a veto made by Commissioner Selig for a baseball-related reason he is having trouble finding, the Miami Marlins are dealing their entire franchise up north, aside from Giancarlo Stanton.

Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck will all be ditching the hideous rainbow costumes in Florida for some classy throwback Jays jerseys in Canada.

Everyone loves to give their opinions and debate over huge deals like this during the winter, but mostly everyone is on the same page in saying the Blue Jays are now “instant contenders” in the A.L. East.

Forget about that atrocious excuse of an owner Jeffrey Loria for a second. Should the trade happen, it’s a bright new beginning for baseball’s only Canadian team, after the Montreal Expos left to become the Nationals in 2005.

Not to discredit what the Jays have done though in the 21st century – they’ve actually won at least 80 games in 9 of the 13 seasons since 2000 and in 5 of the last 7 since 2006. So they rarely have a definitive bad team, and normally they are competitive throughout the year. That’s what draws people to the conclusion that this trade finally gets Toronto over the hump to become a playoff contender for next season and beyond.

It’s a very strong point, and the Blue Jays may very well make the playoffs in 2013. But if we have learned anything in the past three seasons, it’s that no one wins a World Series on paper.

And since 1993, not on Astroturf either.

I understand each team is unique and different, and you can’t compare acquisitions fairly. But there’s now been four teams in the past two seasons that were picked to win their division, a couple to win the pennant, and of course one to capture the World Series.

What happened? All of them missed the playoffs.

The 2011 Red Sox, the 2012 Angels, the 2012 Dodgers, and [as this all has happened because of them] the 2012 Marlins are those clubs. From Adrian Gonzalez (for Boston and L.A.) to Albert Pujols and to Jose Reyes, all of these teams have made significantly huge trades and signings that seemingly put them over the top prior to season’s start.

To me it’s incredibly shocking people are once again jumping on the bandwagon of the team that has spent or acquired the most talent. This Toronto team still lost 89 games last year and has a lot to prove before they can convince me to pick them for even a Wild Card spot. 

I’m not going to go in-depth with analyzing the team, as it would be a waste of time this early in the offseason.

Don’t get me wrong, the other teams in the division are by no means head and shoulders above Toronto, but they aren’t worse either. All of them still have holes and many questions about how to improve, yet it almost feels coy of baseball analysts to be ignoring the Yankees and Orioles’ intense race this past September, the Rays ability to always hang around, and the Red Sox being destined to improve.

There’s a remote possibility that Toronto could even move down into last place in 2013. Not necessarily due to bad performance, but all of the teams are tough opponents and the division could be separated by less than ten games, from first to last. Ranking this Blue Jays team as better than most or all of their A.L. East foes is childish, and it’s a simple question of “shouldn’t baseball know better?”

No matter what, this team will be sugar-coated and hyped up through the winter and into spring by the new guys coming in, much like all the recent clubs that spent loads of money and lost out big time. Though in reality, there’s a reason this team lost 89 games in 2012. And the majority of the players are coming back, and though they are young and certainly may become a strong team soon enough, no one should be picking them [unless you’re a bias Toronto fan] to suddenly explode and over-take the Yankees, O’s, and Rays to win the A.L. East.

We saw in 2012 that anything can happen in baseball, and that’s my thinking. Anything can happen next year and it’s still only November. There’s over two months left for the rest of the A.L. East to “catch up”, and it’s doubtful Toronto’s apparent inferior opponents will be the same as they stand now come Opening Day.

Overall, there is no doubt that this is a tremendous trade for the Blue Jays, and I’m happy for them from a non-bias standpoint. But not everything works out the way it’s supposed to, and it really hasn’t for most of the “winners” of the offseason for the past decade now. Toronto has the potential to change that pattern, but until they do I will have many doubts and continue thinking realistically while people guess away for the Jays to win 95 games and take the A.L. East crown.

Just ask the past couple of year’s World Series favorites. They’ll tell ya baseball isn’t played in the winter on paper. It’s played in the summer on the diamond, and there’s nothing to point to about next season when snow is covering the ground.

I guess that’s the “beauty” of baseball – it brings out the idiot in all of us during the season, debating what we thought back when it was 30 degrees outside and all we had closest to baseball was the MLB: The Show video game is simply guessing and nothing more.

There is one thing that is for certain however – the A.L. East just got a whole lot more exciting.

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Yankees Offseason Notes: Still quiet but Marlins make it interesting

So the Yankees are still being as quiet as ever during the offseason (honestly, this is getting tedious just doing nothing) but we had a taste of the Hot Stove today (no, it didn’t happen in New York).

– The Miami Marlins are close to a blockbuster trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. The details are a bit sketchy, but the Marlins are planning on sending Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle to Canada! Honestly, this is the most exciting news I’ve heard since the end of the World Series.I had to literally pinch myself to see if I was dreaming that there was still baseball news. But here’s the part where we get to play Yankees GM all over again and focus on everyone’s favorite subject: trading (or attempting to) Alex Rodriguez. With the Marlins dumping all the contracts on the Blue Jays, do you think A-Rod will waive the no-trade clause and finally go to Florida? I know Brian Cashman said that he wasn’t going to trade A-Rod but…come on now! This is tempting!

The main question I have is this: Who do the Marlins think they’re going to get for 5 players (3 of them that are superstars)? Jose Bautista?

– The Colorado Rockies signed Dante Bichette as their hitting coach for the 2013 season. Does his name sound familiar? It should. He’s friends with Joe Girardi and his son Dante Bichette Jr. plays in the Yankees organization. The kid has a great bat, he could be as good as his dad.

Miami Marlins offer Jose Reyes 6 years, $90 Million

Miami Marlins offer Jose Reyes 6 years, $90 Million

By Delia E. 

I’m painfully aware that this is not Yankees news but it has been a very slow news day so far. The Miami Marlins have offered ex-New York Mets SS Jose Reyes a 6 year and $90 Million contract yesterday, reported Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. They claim that Reyes is intrigued in playing in warm weather & under the arm of new Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. Reyes however wanted a contract that was worth at least $100 Million.

Many in the MLB industry believe that the contract offer does sound good on paper, but they are unsure if it would be intriguing enough for Reyes to take. Reyes finished the 2011 season playing for the New York Mets who are a crosstown rival to the New York Yankees.

Open Thread

There really isn’t much going on in the Yankee Universe today, other than Joe Girardi’s press conference. Therefore, I’ll just recap some of the “Hot Stove” events of the day.

— Now former Red Sox closer, Jonathan Papelbon has signed with the Phillies. It is a 4 year / $50MM deal, with a vesting option for a fifth year. It really tells you how desperate the Phillies were for a closer. 4+ years, and 50 million – yikes. Have fun with that contract, Philly!

— Speaking of the Red Sox, they are not overly committed to having Daniel Bard as their full-time closer. They are expected to pursue Ryan Madson and Heath Bell.

— The Miami Marlins so said “ability” to spend has been continued. They are rumored to have made offers to Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Mark Buehrle.

Talk about whatever you’d like on this thread. Have a great night.

Morning Bits 6/15/11

Yankees win.  Red Sox lose.  All is good in the world in my book.

Here are your morning links….

* Dan will like this article. Should Jose Reyes replace Jeter at shortstop?

* Here is what some of the Yankees think about the possibility of realignment.

* Hughes shooting for early July return.

 

 

 

 

AL EAST STANDINGS

EAST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10
Boston 39 27 .591 - 19-13 20-14 350 285 +65 Lost 1 9-1
NY Yankees 37 28 .569 1.5 21-17 16-11 342 260 +82 Won 1 6-4
Tampa Bay 36 31 .537 3.5 15-16 21-15 277 262 +15 Won 1 7-3
Toronto 33 34 .493 6.5 16-17 17-17 323 321 +2 Won 1 4-6
Baltimore 30 34 .469 8 20-18 10-16 263 300 -37 Lost 3 5-5
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