There is absolutely no question now – the Toronto Blue Jays are going for it.
The Jays are all-in for 2015. They are pulling out all the stops. It’s playoffs or bust. Whichever colloquialism you want to use to describe what the Blue Jays have just pulled off, it’s very applicable in this situation.
At first, it almost didn’t seem like it was actually happening. The initial news of the Blue Jays acquiring David Price was one of shock and surprise. This must be what it’s like to have an out-of-body experience.
But yes, David Price is coming to Toronto.
First and foremost as a Blue Jays fan, I can’t begin to describe how happy this makes me. Over the past twenty years, this organization hasn’t had many days which have produced this much sheer joy; this is one of them.
I gave an unsolicited hug to the very first person I ran into immediately after official news of the trade (hi, Chris!) Similar reactions of pure unadulterated joy to the David Price trade were also likely taking place across the country.
But after coming back down to earth and thinking objectively for a moment, it’s still so utterly shocking that the Blue Jays of all teams would make a move like this – getting the very best pitcher on the market in David Price.
This is something usually reserved for organizations like the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Blue Jays haven’t been buyers at the trade deadline like this since 1992 and 1993.
And even then, I want to say the trades to bring in Troy Tulowitzki and David Price might even trump some of the trades the Jays made to fortify the roster at the 1992 and 1993 trade deadline.
And when was the last time the Blue Jays went out and got a rental at the trade deadline? Normally, it’s all about acquiring players with little service time or who are under contract for many years to come.
David Price could potentially walk away from the Blue Jays as early as late October. But that’s the furthest thing from anybody’s mind right now as the focus is clearly on winning right now and playing well into October.
As far as David Price goes, what’s not to like? He’s one of the premier pitchers in all of baseball; he’s a true ace, and the undisputed number one in a Toronto Blue Jays rotation that hasn’t had an ace in a very long time.
Not to mention, Price is somebody who’s made a career of owning the Blue Jays. Price has a 16-2 record with a 2.41 ERA in 21 career starts against the Blue Jays. This is a case for the Jays where “if you can’t beat him, trade for him”.
The Troy Tulowitzki deal in of itself was one that got many excited about the Blue Jays’ renewed chances, but this David Price trade just absolutely sends things through the roof.
Via FanGraphs, the Blue Jays increased their playoff odds from 33.6% to 45% after the acquisition of David Price. They also single-handedly doubled their odds of winning the World Series from 2.4% to 4.5%.
The most impressive part about this trade is what it signifies; that the Blue Jays’ front office is serious about winning, and they’ve done virtually everything in their power this year to make that happen.
It’s now up to the players to deliver.
For all the criticism Alex Anthopoulos and the Toronto Blue Jays organization have undergone in recent years, there’s almost no way they can be faulted for the rest of the season. If the Blue Jays don’t make the playoffs now, it’s not on them … it’s on the players.
This David Price trade (and to some degree, the Troy Tulowitzki trade) took a lot of guts to make. Not only because the Blue Jays parted with several highly-touted prospects, but it’s because they still have some ground to make up in the standings.
It’s never easy parting with promising young prospects like Daniel Norris and Jeff Hoffman. The acquisition cost was undoubtedly steep for the services of David Price. Daniel Norris or Matt Boyd could develop into legitimate Major League starters.
But if the Blue Jays felt their window of contention was now and Norris and Boyd didn’t factor into those plans, then it was best to maximize their value as high-level prospects.
However steep the cost may have been for Tulowtizki and Price, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make two significant trades and acquire two elite players. Two players which have the potential to make a huge impact on the Blue Jays’ chances this year.
Just to recap, the Toronto Blue Jays now have All-Stars at five positions on the diamond (catcher, third base, shortstop, right field, first base) and two former Cy Young Award winners in the starting rotation. The team should be okay from here on out.