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.
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.