Before I begin, I want to say I realize I am very late to the trade deadline party. I mean the trade deadline was last Thursday, but I wanted to wait a couple of days. I wanted to retain as much info as I could and let my feelings towards the lack of moves cool down before I wrote anything, because when I found out the Jays made no move what so ever, I was disappointed. I wasn’t shocked, but disappointed and frankly a bit angry, which was the sentiment of many Jays fans and the Jays players who were hoping someone would come to the team. After gathering all the information, here are some of the factors as to why the Jays weren’t able to make any deal at the deadline.
First of all, did anyone really think Alex Anthopoulos would be able to get David Price, or John Lester, from their own division rivals and not put in Marcus Stroman, or Aaron Sanchez? No, there is no way the Jays would have been able to that. Even if people feel that the Lester and Price deals weren’t high-priced deals (they were), I doubt that their division rivals would have given them a cheap deal. It would have cost the Jays more than an arm and a leg, and seeing as the other leg makes up a portion of the Miami Marlins roster, I didn’t think the Jays would make that much noise.
Second, the money, oh the money. Why is it that money is such a big factor with a team owned by a media giant like Rogers? Maybe that nice new billion dollar deal with the NHL was a big factor, or maybe Rogers is just blind and can’t see that the Blue Jays have a real shot at the postseason this year. According to Anthopoulos the money was there if the deal made sense. So basically, if they managed to get a Lester-type player, then maybe the Jays would be willing to spend the money to have him.
The third apparent factor was according to AA he didn’t want to make a trade that didn’t make sense, or a deal that wouldn’t make the team better. In an interview with TSN he said, “I know probably everyone would like to make a splash and add players, but to add players to make the team worse just to say we did something, that wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for us.” While that certainly makes sense, it seems odd that Anthopoulos couldn’t have swung a deal for players like Martin Prado or Chase Headley. Both went for decently cheap prices, and ended up with the division rival Yankees.
Unfortunately for the Jays, deals weren’t made. The players were disappointed, and Jose Bautista wasn’t afraid to tell the media how he and his teammates felt “Everybody does that at the deadline, and figures out a way to improve the roster,” Bautista said. “We just somehow didn’t.” Casey Janssen agreed, saying you don’t make a trade for the sake of making one, but adding small pieces can give players a morale boost. They aren’t wrong. A good example in the NHL this past season was when the Montreal Canadiens got Thomas Vanek. It was a huge morale boost that brought them to the Eastern Conference finals. Yes it’s a different sport, but the idea of adding people at the deadline to show your team you believe in them works in every sport.
So who dropped the ball? It’s a little bit of management and ownership, and lack of depth on the farm system. The Blue Jays still have a chance to make a move with the waiver deadline, but it will be much harder to make a high-impact move. It is very disappointing that nothing was done, but the Jays still have a chance to rally and grab a good player through waivers.
They will get a boost when Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie return from the disabled list. Even Brendan Morrow may be able to help out of the bullpen (assuming he doesn’t get injured again). It’s an awful lot to gamble on, though. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Jays fall out of contention late in the season.
As a side note, if there is any defense for Anthopoulos here, it is that he could have possibly saved the future rotation of the Jays. Imagine if they traded away Stroman and Sanchez away for Lester Price, and they didn’t make the playoffs. It would be just like when the Montreal Expos traded for Mark Langston and gave up the legendary pitcher Randy Johnson. We won’t know for years how good these pitchers will be, but if this season is any indication, AA might have done the right thing.
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