“Troy Tulowitzki is great and all, but don’t the Blue Jays need pitching?”
That’s likely the very same sentiment many members of the media, fans and players had towards the news of today’s monster trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies.
The apparent need for the Blue Jays is starting pitching, but instead they opted to improve at yet another position on the diamond by swapping Jose Reyes and prospects for Troy Tulowitzki.
Much like the Josh Donaldson deal and the Russell Martin signing, this was not the typical “plug a hole” acquisition by the Blue Jays. But in doing so, Alex Anthopoulos may have reinforced their all-offense approach.
Interestingly enough, this is not the first time the Toronto Blue Jays have employed this strategy.
Sean McIndoe (AKA @DownGoesBrown) recalled a similar scenario from the 1993 trade deadline when the Blue Jays were initially in the market for pitching, but turned their focus to hitting instead.
This trade reminds me of the ’93 Jays, who everyone said would be adding a starter, going out and getting Rickey Henderson instead.
— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) July 28, 2015
As the tale goes, the Blue Jays nearly acquired Randy Johnson from the Mariners at the 1993 trade deadline. However, the Mariners GM was unreachable on the golf course (who goes golfing during the trade deadline?).
So instead, Pat Gillick turned his focus towards Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics. The 1993 Blue Jays were an incredibly gifted offensive team and didn’t appear to need Rickey Henderson, but the unorthodox method ultimately worked.
One can only imagine what the addition of Randy Johnson could’ve done for the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays, but it’s almost a moot point because they ended up winning the World Series.
The acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki does somewhat mirror the scenarios in which the Blue Jays brought in Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin, and that was the opportunity to upgrade at a position.
Even though it really didn’t seem necessary, the Blue Jays went ahead and upgraded at another premium position on the roster. Not that anybody’s counting, but the Jays now have All-Stars at four positions on the diamond: Bautista, Donaldson, Martin and Tulowitzki.
Prior to trading for Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays scored 528 runs in 100 games. That’s 72 more runs than their next closest competition, the New York Yankees.
So if the Blue Jays were already scoring 5.28 runs per game before Tulo, imagine how many more they might score with him in the lineup as opposed to Jose Reyes. A lineup that was already a gauntlet for opposing pitchers just got that much stronger.
Alex Anthopoulos sounded fairly confident in today’s press conference that the Blue Jays will in fact get a deal done in the coming days for some pitching. But if for some reason they don’t, it might not be a bad thing.
The 1993 Blue Jays failed to get a pitcher at the trade deadline; instead, they loaded up on offense. Look where it got them.
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