The Tale of Two Trades
The 2013 versions of the Red Sox and Blue Jays were both shaped by trades.
Boston, of course, had the “karma cleanse” deal last August with the Los Angeles Dodgers, ridding itself of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett (with Nick Punto thrown in for good measure).
Toronto “won” the last off-season with its big Marlins trade, stacking the team with Jose Reyes, John Buck, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Emilio Bonifacio.
It’s fair to say both deals contributed to where the teams currently stand – Red Sox (1st place in the AL East) and Blue Jays (last place).
- Team-wise, for the Red Sox, the deal did what it was supposed to do – give Boston an opportunity to start fresh. And the team has taken great advantage of that opportunity.
- Talent-wise, the jury is out on how well the Sox did. Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa are promising but still unproven – and neither has distinguished himself in the majors. Maybe they develop into quality major leaguers, maybe the Dodgers shipped Boston a couple of guys who aren’t difference makers.
- For the Dodgers, Gonzalez is producing what they hoped he would (and he was the trade linchpin). Crawford is okay this year (remember, Los Angeles doesn’t care about money – and wants to make a splash this year). And Beckett has moved into the witness protection program (and again, they don’t care about money).
- Verdict – Draw between Boston and Los Angeles – which is a “win” for both teams.
Now to the Blue Jays – Marlins Trade
- Put aside the Jeffrey Loria ripping off South Florida for a moment (that’s not a baseball issue – that’s political/economic issue). What the Marlins did with the Blue Jays trade (and got vilified for) is exactly what the Red Sox did – trade bad contracts to a willing buyer for a fresh start.
- The Marlins have won the trade (gladly conceding the off-season to Toronto). They got young talent that positions them for the future. And note: the Blue Jays didn’t even give their best prospects in this deal.
- For Toronto, this year has been a disaster. Johnson is gone after this season. But Reyes and Buehrle remain (unless they can unload their contracts). Bonifacio is most likely non-tendered.
- And don’t forget – the “we are close” feeling created by the Miami trade helped push the Blue Jays to clean out their farm system to get R.A. Dickey, who has not produced and has three more seasons at ages 39, 40 and 41. Ouch. (Full disclosure: in the off-season, I liked the Dickey trade.)