Since Rogers Communications purchased a majority ownership of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000, fans have eagerly anticipated ownership would open their wallet and make a big splash over the winter.
However, like most winters north of the border, the offseason was usually cold, harsh and fruitless. Blue Jays fans had become accustomed to a similar offseason arc: add a few mid-level free agents, make some seemingly intriguing transactions, wait on top prospects and hope for significant improvement from what was largely the same core of players from the prior season’s non-playoff squad.
Fast forward to this offseason.
The Jays started off in typical fashion: signing a solid role player in Maicer Izturis. However, in a blockbuster trade that signaled a new era in Blue Jays baseball, general manager Alex Anthopoulos acquired two-fifths of his starting rotation in Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, premiere lead-off hitter Jose Reyes and speedy utility player Emilio Bonifacio in exchange for six players---most of whom had deemed expendable or were not ready to contribute at the major league level.
In a second trade, AA landed reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey and his catcher, Josh Thole, for an enticing package that included two top prospects. Sandwiched in between these headliner trades, the Jays also inked switch-hitter Melky Cabrera to man left field.
So after acquiring all these veterans, where does that leave the team now?
The Jays have arguably made a bigger splash in the past two months than in any past offseason under Rogers ownership. As such, there isn't much left to do. A quick analysis of the potential roster heading into 2013 reveals that there may only be two or three roster spots that are in play (barring additional trades, injuries, etc.).
For the current Blue Jays depth chart, click here.
The first roster spot would be for a final bat to come off the bench. The second that should be addressed is in the bullpen---a healthy reliever to set up for Casey Janssen.
I am suggesting the Jays add one of the hitting candidates and one of the pitching candidates to round out the roster and complete one of the most memorable offseasons in franchise history.