There was once a time when Anthony Gose was viewed as the centre fielder of the future for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was the second coming of Devon White. Gose would succeed Colby Rasmus and provide the Blue Jays with all the speed and defense they needed in centre field.
That vision never came to fruition within the Toronto Blue Jays organization, and it’s becoming dangerously close to being extinguished within the Detroit Tigers organization as well.
Just in case you haven’t heard the latest update in the Anthony Gose saga, the Tigers sent him all the way down to AA for what one can only describe as an “attitude adjustment”. According to the latest report, Gose isn’t taking too kindly this demotion, declaring “I hate all media“.
All of this reinforces why the Toronto Blue Jays traded Gose in the first place.
Far be it for me to kick a guy while he’s down. Most Major Leaguers have struggled at some point in their career and spent time in the minor leagues. But this instance with Anthony Gose is much, much different. He brought this onto himself.
Anthony Gose has always been a player with a tremendous amount of potential; someone who was always on the radar of Alex Anthopoulos. AA initially attempted to acquire Gose in the Roy Halladay trade of 2009, but the Phillies didn’t want to include Gose in the deal.
The following season, the Phillies traded Anthony Gose to the Houston Astros, and not long thereafter, Anthopoulos was on the phone to the Astros to bring Gose to Toronto. Anthony Gose was one of the prized prospects of the Blue Jays farm system and was being groomed as the centre fielder of the future.
What followed were some tumultuous years for Anthony Gose with the Blue Jays. While he was afforded every opportunity to become the Blue Jays everyday centre fielder, Gose simply couldn’t hold down the job. In turn, Anthony Gose often found himself down in the minor leagues.
The seed of malcontent was seemingly planted with Anthony Gose somewhere around his 2013-2014 season with the Toronto Blue Jays. There are no confirmed reports of clashes with teammates or the front office, but there were rumblings Anthony Gose wasn’t exactly happy in Toronto.
On several occasions, Gose was rumoured to voice his displeasure about his lack of playing time with the Blue Jays and his disinterest in being sent back down to Triple A. Not that any player should ever want to get sent down, but at least use it as a learning experience; not an opportunity to pout.
Anthony Gose was reportedly part of the many “malcontents” who were shipped following the 2014 season, which included Adam Lind, Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie. The Blue Jays front office spoke at length about changing the culture of the team, and it’s no coincidence that many of those players found themselves with other teams shortly thereafter.
And then the trade happened; close to midnight on November 14th, 2014 word came down that Anthony Gose had been traded to the Detroit Tigers for Devon Travis. As the Blue Jays held a glut of outfielders and with Gose’s stock tumbling, the fact that Jays received any value at all in return is pretty remarkable.
Thus far, the Blue Jays surely have been pleased with the results, as they now have an everyday second baseman in Devon Travis, as Anthony Gose is riding the bus in AA and soon-to-be planning his 2016 apology tour.
At the time, not much stock was put into the Gose for Travis trade, but so far, the Blue Jays benefited not only in the addition of Devon Travis, but also the subtraction of Anthony Gose.
Luckily, the Blue Jays sidestepped the Anthony Gose theatrics by a few years, and now the Detroit Tigers are realizing before their very eyes that Gose may not be the player they hoped he would be … much like the Blue Jays did.
Similar to the saga of Colby Rasmus, many people look back and wonder “what if” for Anthony Gose. But if you want a glimpse into what Anthony Gose could’ve become, just look at Kevin Pillar.
Funnily enough, Pillar had an incident in front of the TV cameras a few years ago which promptly earned him a demotion. He was shown throwing a tantrum in the dugout after being pinch hit for late in a game (for Anthony Gose). An incident like that could’ve prompted a trade of Kevin Pillar, but he seemingly used that encounter as a learning experience and now he’s better than ever.
Evidently, Anthony Gose hasn’t received that message yet.
Who’s to say that Anthony Gose didn’t pull a similar stunt to Kevin Pillar? The only difference is that Gose reportedly displayed his displeasure behind closed doors, whereas Pillar was outright with his outrage.
As many within the Blue Jays’ and Tigers’ organizations can attest to, it’s frustrating to watch a player like Anthony Gose squander these gifts which have been afforded to him. Gose has great speed and a great arm, but his attitude has been ultimate downfall.
I hate to say it, but the Blue Jays did right to trade Anthony Gose during the 2014 offseason. The organization was clearly trying to send a message by removing the bad apples from the roster, and not long after, the Blue Jays enjoyed their most successful season in 22 years.
The talent is still there for Anthony Gose, but unless he learns a little bit of humility in the minor leagues, Gose will always be one of those “what ifs”.