Fantasy Impact: The Blue Jays take a serious step toward jumping into the AL East and World Series mix by pulling off a blockbuster 12-player deal to acquire Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle and others.
What the Blue Jays get: A fantastic chance to make a run deep into October. Reyes and Bonifacio add an element of speed to the basepaths, and will help solidify an offense that ranked 6th in HR and 13th in Runs Scored in 2012. Toronto also ranked 8th in stolen bases in 2012.
Catcher John Buck had the best season of his career in 2010 playing for the Blue Jays, and will also be returning to Toronto.
Johnson and Buerhle will be looked at to add depth to a starting staff that saw great strides taken from Brandon Morrow and a in the development of Ricky Romero. Buerhle has won 13 games in four straight years and could be the missing piece the Blue Jays have been looking for to add consistency to their rotation.
While Josh Johnson has posted very good numbers over his career (3.15 ERA and 1.23 WHIP), he is the likeliest candidate to struggle against the AL East teams. Johnson saw a downtick in K/9 (down from 9.11 in 2010 to 7.76 in 2012) and an uptick in HR/9 (0.34/gm in 2010 to 0.66/gm in 2012) and BB/9 (from 2.35/gm to 3.06/gm in 2012). Pair that with the adjustment time from the NL-to-AL and it's a recipe for fantasy disaster for potential owners in 2013.
What the Marlins get: The Marlins will get the chance to start over (again) in 2013 with some obvious salary relief. They had signed Johnson to a 4 yrs/$39M deal in 2010, and signed Reyes to a gigantic 6 yrs/$106M deal in 2012. Johnson is in the final year of his contract and wants a chance to capture a title, which he'll get.
Yunel Escobar had a 4.2 WAR season in 2011, but dipped quite a bit in 2012 as his BB rate took a dive (down from 10.3% to 5.8%) and Adeiny Hechavarria will get a chance to show off some of the talent he flashed at Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas. Hechavarria didn't make much of an impact in a 41 game stint with Toronto near the end of 2012.
The trade also give the team a chance to showcase top pitching prospect Jacob Turner in a full role with the team. Henderson Alvarez was given 187+ innings in 2012 and showcased a 57% GB rate good for fourth best percentage in baseball. His K rate (3.80 K/9) is the lowest among qualifying pitchers and that could see a slight uptick with the move to the NL.
Of the prospects given up by the Blue Jays, Justin Nicolino looks to have the highest upside. The 21 year old southpaw saw his record rise to 10-4 with 124+ innings of work at Single-A Lansing in 2012. Nicolino added a 119 strikeouts to go along with a sterling 2.46 ERA, and could be ready to make an impact in the Marlins staff by 2014. Nicolino's fellow Lugnut teammates pitcher Anthony DeScalfani and outfielder Jake Marisnick as well as catcher Jeff Mathis will also be heading to the Marlins in the deal.
Fantasy Players Impacted: The biggest impact from this will come to the fanbases. The Blue Jays get their first true title contender since the Joe Carter-era, while the Marlins fans have to deal with yet another firesale/rebuild by their franchise after they were swindled by the city and owners into striking a deal for a brand new 37,442 seat stadium.
Giancarlo Stanton will see less protection in the lineup and his own RBI and Run totals could take a hit, while Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista should see the opposite, more chances to drive in runs and more runs themselves with the added depth. It also appears that Stanton isn't pleased with the firesale and could make some noise for a trade himself, which would be an interesting development to follow.
Fantasy Players Helped:
- Jose Reyes (TOR)
- Jose Bautista (TOR)
- Jacob Turner (MIA)
- Emilio Bonifacio (TOR)
- Logan Morrison (MIA)
- Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA)
Fantasy Players Hurt:
- Josh Johnson (TOR)
- Mark Buerhle (TOR)
- Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)
- Ricky Nolasco (MIA)
- Jake Marisnick (MIA)
Get more updates from Tyler via Twitter @mallowciraptor and find previous works here: