Mayhem ensued in the Toronto Blue Jays organization last night as General Manager Alex Anthopoulos struck a mammoth, albeit surprising trade with the Colorado Rockies acquiring shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. As FOX sports insider Ken Rosenthal wrote, this trade may go down as one of the most stunning trades in baseball history just in the sense that although Tulowitzki's name was out there in some trade banter, a fit to the Blue Jays seemed unlikely at best. On a purely personal point of view, I'm not a fan of this transaction from a Toronto Blue Jays point of view, I'm just not seeing it as a necessity for a variety of reasons. There's the clubhouse dynamic in which is heavily dominated by the Latino community, particularly the majority of it's core players in which Jose Reyes, who was one of the pieces sent to Denver fits into the Latino mold who holds a tight knit friendship with Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Some will point out that "friendships" are the least of the worries a General Manager should be concerning himself with but at the end of the day, you have to ensure that your stronger players support a big move, and it makes you contemplate whether Encarnacion and Bautista fully support the move which sees Jose leave town. Also, and more much aligned to my big gripe with this, is using our best trading chip in pitcher Jeff Hoffman to NOT bring in a starter, in which the Jays so desperately need a sound strategy? Not at all! I couldn't give two cents that Tulowitzki is contracted long term, because Anthopoulos can spew all he wants about this being a move cognizant of the long term, but any deal Anthopoulos makes he's fully aware his job is on the line and although the future is set at SS, the cards aren't aligning for this year as this is a .500 ball club, and the team doesn't have the pitching to compete. To catch the Yankees and the Twins, the two teams that currently stand in the way of the playoff berth, we can't be throwing out the likes of R.A Dickey and Drew Hutchison out their twice every five days and expect to be competitive. In an ideal world which we do not live in, a rotation consisting of (insert ace here), Buerhle, Estrada, Dickey and Hutchison is atleast serviceable, but the insert ace here as the juggernaut at the top of the rotation is something we're lacking, and Jeff Hoffman should've been used to acquire it, not to upgrade a position that wasn't a glaring weakness. Yovani Gallardo from the Texas Rangers has been said to be available, although Texas' latest jolt may of changed that philosophy is absolute ace material, and consider me upset if we're a Jeff Hoffman away from missing out on his services. Secondarily, sending Reyes out and bringing Tulowitzki in changes the outlook of the lineup. Twitter's been a buzz on speculated lineup combinations and I certainly have my opinions on what a post-Reyes lineup card should look like. Ryan Goins has been used as a late game defensive replacement for Reyes as he has received one starting assignment since July 9th, but with Tulowitzki not sharing those same defensive deficiencies, where does that leave Goins, drastically underrated by Blue Jays pendants? Well, what I would like to see is Goins be given some serious look out in left field. Between him and Carerra, I would shoulder more of the load toward Ryan as on the surface, because Carrera supplies more power, would make for a better pinch hitting candidate then Goins. Last night when this trade first broke, my first thought was to have Tulowitzki bat lead-off but after further though I'm inclined to throw Tulowitzki in the five hole creating a potent murderer's row in the middle of the order. What I'd like to see happen is grant the lead-off assignment to Ryan Goins, with as it's been all year going with Donaldson- Bautista-Encarnacion 2-3-4, with the newly acquired TT batting fifth. In the sixth hole, I'd like to see the platoon of Smoak and Colabello, with Canadian Russell Martin batting seventh, with Pillar and Devon Travis rounding out the order. That's the lineup that if I was John Gibbons I would pencil in. On an additional note, and I only bring this up due to Tulowitzki's inevitable power, does this make Encarnacion expendable to assist them bringing in this coveted starter? If you can flip Encarnacion to say a team like the pitching heavy Washington Nationals for someone like Gio Gonzalez? By trading Encarnacion, this would alleviate full time starts to both Justin Smoak and Chris Colabello whilst bringing in Gonzalez who most definitely has the "stuff" to be that front of the line rotation starter. It's worth pondering.
The Blue Jays haul in the big name, the right big name, that could be debatable to the end of time.