After a quiet few months, we finally have some action in the Blue Jays camp. With big signings like Jacoby Ellsbury, and surprising trades between the Rangers and A’s, most of the Jays moves probably got lost to most except Blue Jays fans.
This time last year, Anthopoulos had already completed a blockbuster deal with the Marlins that brought Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson north of the border. Soon after Melky Cabrerra was given a 2-year deal and John Gibbons was hired for a second time as the Blue Jays manager. Rumours were already swirling about another huge deal the Jays were working on, bringing the reigning NL Cy Young award winner, R.A. Dickey. The Jays won the off-season, but came nowhere close to winning what really matters, the World Series.
Impatient Jays fans have been impatiently waiting to hear something, anything out of Toronto regarding additions to the 2014 squad, and just this week, we got our moves.
- The Blue Jays signed catcher Dioner Navarro, who played most recently for the Cubs. He was given a 2-year deal worth $8 million. The intentions are for him to be the starting catcher, with Josh Thole still being Dickey’s catcher. This pretty much spelled the end of the JP Arencibia era in Toronto
- Contracts were tendered to arbitration eligible players, Esmil Rogers, Brett Cecil, and Colby Rasmus. As a surprise to no one, JP Arencibia was non-tendered, making him a free agent. After a brutal 2013 season for Arencibia, it was probably time to cut ties and wish him the best with whatever team he signs with. Say what you will about him (what you will), he did so much for the city. Both Rogers and Cecil had great seasons last year, as did Rasmus in between his injuries, so it was a great move to tender these guys contracts.
- The first trade made by the Jays this off-season was a small one. Brad Lincoln to the Phillies for LHP Rob Rasmussen and C Erik Kratz. Lincoln spent most of 2013 putting up good numbers in Buffalo. I’m still bitter that we traded Travis Snider for him, but that is beside the point. Rasmussen spent 2013 between AA and AAA, and Kratz has spent the last few years in the Majors. He is probably going to fill the role as a veteran catching presence in Toronto or Buffalo.
As many other Jays fans, I am hoping that a few more moves are made before the season starts. Let’s face it, we can’t handle another season like 2013.