The Blue Jays Clearance Sale Begins

If Alex Anthopoulos barely took any time off for a honeymoon this year, you know for damn sure he wasn’t doing to be quiet and sit on his hands during the All-Star Break.

The Blue Jays and the Braves got the ball rolling with the biggest trade of the year so far involving major league ready players, as the Blue Jays shipped Alex Gonzalez and prospects Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky to Atlanta, receiving Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes in return.

At first glance, this appears to be a great “buy low, sell high move” for the Blue Jays. Alex Gonzalez could not be more valuable at this point, and somehow the Blue Jays managed to pry away Yunel Escobar from the Braves.


On the downside, the Blue Jays may have inherited a player with some issues, but that’s why the Blue Jays got him on the cheap. Prior to the beginning of the season, Escobar was projected as one of the best defensive shortstops in the majors.

So even though they may have given away a bit of power at the shortstop position in the short term, it looks like the Jays have actually upgraded on defense in the long term.

With a fresh start in Toronto under the guidance of Cito Gaston and his coaching staff, maybe Yunel will turn things around under this regime with a “grip it and rip it” free-flowing philosophy. Better yet, at just 27 years old, Escobar is under team control until the end of 2013.

Another plus for the Blue Jays, as Shi Davidi of the Canadian Press indicates, the Blue Jays have an ace in the hole with Jose Bautista to help Yunel Escobar translate/transition into the Jays clubhouse.

Personally, I think this is a phenomenal move for the Blue Jays and now they’ve managed to shore up the shortstop position for a very long time. Anthopolous was smart to sign both Alex Gonzalez and John McDonald to patrol the middle infield, then work backwards and sign Adeiny Hechavarria.

Now with Yunel Escobar, the Blue Jays have someone to bridge the gap between those two eras.

After reading the reaction posts on Fangraphs and MLB Trade Rumors, the only thing Jays fans are most upset about is losing Tim Collins.

Honestly, I’m not all that familiar with Tiny Tim and hadn’t heard of him until I saw his profile on Mop Up Duty’s Prospect Watch post, but more importantly until I saw how tiny he was compared to Trystan Magnuson.

Ultimately, you have to give something up to get something in return. Besides, the Blue Jays have drafted and signed an ample amount of pitchers, so it’s not like the club will be hurting for arms any time soon.


Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

6 thoughts on “The Blue Jays Clearance Sale Begins

  • July 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    I like the move. While I am concern about some of the stuff being said about Escobar in Atlanta, and I was mildly supportive of both the prospects (esp. Collins), Escobar is 6 years younger and has the talent to be a top end shortstop.

    Maybe the change of scenery will help is desire.

    Plus I think this is only the start. Probably gonna be a few other names getting new addresses soon.

  • July 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    route19, I don't doubt that Escobar can turn things around in Toronto. It seems like Bobby Cox likes to run a pretty tight ship in Atlanta, so hopefully Yunel will enjoy the more laid back atmosphere in Toronto.

    You're right, this is the first domino to fall in Toronto, there will be others soon (Downs, Buck, Frasor, Gregg)

  • July 15, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Funny thing is, Collins was signed as a FA.

    It still hurts to see him leave but I am happy we got a good young future SS while/hopefully Adeiny can stay in minors and tear it up and eventually be ready in 2 years.

    I think Escobar can also play 3B so it gives us versatility. Great trade for the Jays!

  • July 15, 2010 at 2:01 am

    H8ER, interesting … I just assumed Collins was drafted, and made his way through the ranks to New Hampshire.

    Good point about Escobar at the hot corner. Another good contingency plan in case AA can't find a decent third base prospect in the near future. I'd be very excited about a Yunel/Adeiny left side of the infield!

  • July 15, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Suggestions for Escobar nicknames (based on the fact that the name Escobar immediately brings to mind Pablo Escobar, famous druglord): The Czar, The Kingpin, possibly The Cartel, although that last one might be too negatively interpreted.

    Other ones that might be too bizarre and obscure: Tribunal, because he hands down sentences of "OUT" to batters with his amazing defense, and plays like three guys in one. If he sucks, call him The Strudel, because he moves slower than overcooked pastry.

    Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week.

  • July 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    sadp, all of those are great suggestions. Will from The Southpaw also came up with a good one, "Y-Es". That one may just eventually end up being "Yezz" like Fez from That 70's Show.

    I guess after we see Yunel play a few games, it should be fairly easy to judge what kind of a nickname we should give him.

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