The Marlins have made a huge splash at the Winter Meetings, dropping some dead weight and bringing All Star Shortstop Jose Reyes and Pitcher Josh Johnson along with John Buck and Mark Buerhle. The Jays were able to shed talented SS Yunel Escobar, starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez, along with several top level prospects. Escobar was a cancer at the end of the season and Jays are ecstatic to find a home for the slander-flipping Cuban. Alvarez should turn into a quality Major League pitcher, but may be a couple years away from reaching his full potential. The Jays land Josh Johnson who instantly becomes the ace of the staff, he has no hit stuff and provides the staple the Jays thought they had in Ricky Romero. Jose Reyes is another prize, he instantly becomes the best middle infielder since Roberto Alomar.
The Blue Jays are definitely making changes, bringing 5 legitimate major leaguers - Emilio Benaficio is one of the fastest players in Baseball. He is considered an ideal top of the order guys and will create lots of run production for Bautista and Encarnacion. John Buck who is also reportedly in the deal will necessitate more moves, with the moving of Jeff Mathism, Buck had his best year in 2009 with the Blue Jays and will be a wonderful back up to JP Arencibia if he stays with the club. The Jays are loaded at catcher with Travis D'Arnaud thought to be on his way to the Majors. Buck only has 1 yr left on his deal and will be a good fill in until 2014.
The Marlins are taking some baggage with Escobar, but the rest of the players are all high level prospects. Justin Nicolino is considered one of the Blue Jays top five prospects. The hard throwing lefty spent 2012 with Lansing and dominated. Most discussions for the Blue Jays with other teams have included Nicolino. The real steal in this trade may be Jake Marisnick, the speedy outfielder is a potential 5 tool player with gap power that could progress into middle of the order power. His potential is big - but given that Alex Anthopoulos needs to win quickly, this is a good move. In Adeiny Hechavarria; the Cuban SS the Jays outbid all of baseball became superfluous with Reyes. Deny was a pleasant surprise in 2012, building on his offensive performance the entire season. He may be the Marlins shortstop in 2013, moving Yunel Escobar over to 2nd Base. This may be the final stop for Escobar, his offense is limited and his defense is not good enough to out way the cancer he is in the clubhouse. The Jays will be better just for losing Escobar.
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