As the 2013 major league baseball season is set to kick into full swing this week, I thought I would look back and reminisce about an off-season that was truly special for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays finished the injury riddled 2012 regular season with a 73-89 record, disappointing enough for Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos to attack the offseason like no other.
November 19th, 2012 is a date that may go down in Blue Jays history as the turning point of the franchise. The Jays and Miami Marlins took the world by storm announcing a mega, superstar and prospect laden 12 player deal. Once the dust had settled, the Blue Jays had added leadoff hitter and perennial All-Star Jose Reyes, front of the rotation starters Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, utility speedster Emilio Bonifacio and veteran catcher John Buck.
The Jays would part with seven players including top prospects Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, Henderson Alvarez and defensive wizard Adeiny Hechavarria as well as shortstop Yunel Escobar, back-up catcher Jeff Mathis and minor leaguer Anthony DeSclafani.
Anthopoulos would fill a large majority of the Blue Jays offseason needs with one swift move unbeknownst to rival owners that a deal was even on the table.
The man known north of the border as the “Silent Assassin” continued to strike while the iron was hot signing the much maligned Melky Cabrera to a discounted two year deal. It has been well documented about Cabrera and his performance enhancing drug suspension.
Just under a month later on December 17th, 2012, Anthopoulos moved his chips all in on the baseball poker table acquiring National League Cy Young Winner R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets for yet again more prospects. The Jays would send top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, blue chipper Noah Syndergaard, Wuilmer Becerra and John Buck to the Big Apple. The Jays would also add catchers Josh Thole and Canadian Mike Nickeas in the deal along with Dickey.
Other minor deals were the signings of Maicer Izturis and Henry Blanco, the acquisition of Mike Aviles who in turn was dealt for Esmil Rogers and the hiring of Manager John Gibbons.
This will go down as the offseason in which Alex Anthopoulos did not sleep, but then again he can sleep after the Blue Jays are crowned World Series Champions.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.