The mega trade the Toronto Blue Jays pulled the trigger on with the Miami Marlins could go down as the most team-altering deal in franchise history. Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson garner much of the attention from the deal, but it’s the intangibles that Mark Buehrle brings to the ballpark day in and day out that may make all the difference.
Buehrle is a 13-year veteran who has made at least 30 starts in 12 consecutive major league season. The four time All-Star has won 174 major league games, that includes a career-high 19 wins in 2002. The four-time Gold Glove winner led the major leagues in run saved last season with 12, and has a major league-high 31 runs saved in the last three seasons.
The craft lefty has proven you don’t need velocity to be successful, ranking third with the slowest average fastball last season in the National League. Buehrle’s fastball consistently hovers around 85 miles per hour; the only two slower fastballs last season belong to R.A Dickey, and Barry Zito. The veteran relies on keeping hitters off balance, throwing the most change ups in the National League at 27 percent.
Buehrle will be a Godsend for struggling Ricky Romero, who is looking to rebound from a disastrous 2012 season. Romero tends to put too much pressure on himself, and the calming aura of Buehrle will no doubt assist in that department.
There is no question the Blue Jays took the intangibles into the equations when building the trade with the Marlins, and believed it outweighed the $47 million remaining on his three-year contract.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.