On July 31st the non-waiver trade deadline in baseball had come and gone, and the one question on everyone’s lips was, “who won?”
Was it the Mets who were able to get the big bat they so desperately needed without giving up any of their young stud pitchers? Meanwhile the upstart Astros added the ace in Scott Kazmir and the bat in Carlos Gomez to make themselves formidable.
The Dodgers did all they could by adding Mat Latos and Alex Wood to the rotation, Jim Johnson to the bullpen and middle infield prospect Jose Peraza, and they didn’t have to part with Corey Seager or Julio Urias.
Heck even the Royals who looked to be cruising their way into the post-season made themselves even more dangerous when they added ace Johnny Cueto and uber utility player Ben Zobrist.
Yet it was the Toronto Blue Jays whose moves not only made the biggest splash, but have paid the biggest dividends, and one of them was more of a detriment than a help to this team if you ask me. Yet since they added Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, the Jays have won 12 of their last 13 games and have gone from being SIX games behind the Yankees to a ½ game ahead of the Bronx Bombers for the top spot in the AL East.
Price has been nothing short of remarkable, going 2-0 while allowing just one run in 15 innings and striking out 18. He is on the mound on Friday as the Jays open another huge series with the Yankees, this time in Toronto.
The other deal the Jays made is the one that I think they may regret. They added Troy Tulowitzki while dealing away Jose Reyes in the process. I think there is little debate that when healthy, these are two of the top shortstops in all of baseball. The key being, neither one of them seems to always be healthy.
But I think you’ll get very little argument from anyone about how good Tulo is. He has struggled a bit as he adjusts to the American League, hitting just .231 in a Jays Uni, but he does have three bombs and has driven in six while walking seven times.
So why would this be considered a bad move? Well, before the deal, the Blue Jays had one of the most feared line-ups in the game with Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson. So while Tulo makes this line-up even scarier, the one thing the Jays lost was the element of speed that Reyes brought. With an already power laden line-up, I think in the long run they will miss Reyes speed more than they will benefit from Tulo’s power. That being said, when you add a dynamic bat like Tulowitzki, it can never be a bad move, just a little questionable that’s all.
Now with an Ace at the top of their rotation, and yet another huge bat in their line-up, can the Jays be stopped? After all, they have been on fire since the deadline and now they are the team to catch in the AL East. With the Yankees coming to town for 3 games this weekend they can really put some distance between them and the Bronx Bombers, especially with Price kicking off the set on the bump.
But I can’t help have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that if they were going to go all in and acquire Price and Tulo, they should have taken that last step and gotten the one thing that is going to prove to be their Achilles heel, a closer to finish out games.
So far they have used, Aaron Sanchez, Brett Cecil, Roberto Osuna (currently), Miguel Castro and Steve Delabar in the role. You’re going to tell me they didn’t have the goods to acquire K-Rod, Joakim Soria or even Johnathan Papelbon at the deadline too?
If you think that it isn’t that important for them, ask the Tigers how many World Series they have won with bullpen issues. They too had an ace, Justin Verlander, a bunch of boppers, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Prince Fielder (one year) and JD Martinez.
But when the Post-season rolled around, they couldn’t close out games, so they ended up going home earlier than they probably should have.
I know the exchange rate in Canada is a little high, but even if it’s 2 blown saves for every one Canadian, that may be the ONLY thing that stops these Jays from playing in their first World Series since 1993.