Thanks to the horrible overspending by the terribly run franchise that is the Miami Marlins, the Toronto Blue Jays are now my favorites to win the American League East. The acquisitions of Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck is more than enough to push Toronto over the hump, especially if the team is healthy for 2013.
What people may not realize, outside of Toronto fans, is that everyone was injured last season for the Jays. If the team is healthy in 2013, they have more than enough to battle with the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees - – sorry Baltimore Orioles, you’re not going to win 70% of your one-run games again.
This trade fills Toronto’s biggest needs while not creating any holes. Reyes will move in for the departing Yunel Escobar, and Johnson and Buehrle will anchor a rotation that was decimated with injuries last season.
In regards to the Marlins, are we really that surprised? Everyone saw the writing on the wall even before the 2012 season started. It was pretty obvious the team would revert back to their firesale ways if the team didn’t compete in 2012, especially since their notoriously cheap owner, Jeffrey Loria, spent about three times as much as he normally would.
It’s obviously too early to tell what Toronto’s batting order will be, but a Reyes-Lawrie-Bautisa-Encarnacion first four is easily one of the best in the American League. Oh, by the way, Toronto’s problem last year wasn’t really scoring runs anways – - well, at least from April to August.
A rotation of Johnson-Buerhle-Morrow will give Toronto the stability it sorely needs. And if Ricky Romero rebounds, that rotation is also one of the best in the American League.
I rightly predicted the Washington Nationals to win the NL East last season. So by the same reasoning I used for them, I will use for the Jays this season: they are a ticking time bomb ready to explode.
The 2013 Toronto Blue Jays will win the American League East.