This is also from espn insider:
Toronto now a good AL East bet
Proposed trade with the Marlins puts Jays in position for division crown
Updated: November 13, 2012, 8:58 PM ETBy Dan Szymborski | Fire Sale To Blue Jays
Buster Olney on a potential trade between the Marlins and Blue Jays, sending Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio to Toronto.Tags: Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, Emilio BonifacioMarlins' Fire Sale To Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays played the role of the forgotten team in the AL East in 2012. Three of the AL East teams were in the playoff hunt until the final week of the season while a fourth team, the Boston Red Sox, had a noted collapse. Toronto finished in that muddling middle, never good enough for people to follow the number in the games-behind column, but never bad enough to become a punch line as Boston did.
But that's all about to change, as the Jays have reportedly pulled off a blockbuster with the Miami Marlins, acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio without giving up anyone who made a significant impact in 2012, and are now projected as a good bet to win the AL East in 2013.
Let's start with the premise that Toronto was much better than the 73-win team it was in 2012. The Jays got an amazing year out of Edwin Encarnacion, but outside of Encarnacion, the team wasn't the beneficiary of much in the way of good luck.
Whether it was Jose Bautista suffering an injury-plagued season or every other significant player underperforming expectations to some degree, from minor disappointment (Brett Lawrie) to disaster of galactic proportions (Ricky Romero), fortune frowned fairly regularly on the Jays. Now, not all of those players will improve in 2013, but as a group, they should improve enough simply from regression toward the mean to add a half-dozen games to the Jays' total, which brings them to 79 wins without factoring in any of the trade acquisitions.
I asked ZiPS to project Toronto's new acquisitions and the computer likes this trade as much as I do. Jose Reyes projects at .293/.343/.450 and 4.5 WAR in Toronto, which combined with a 2.4 WAR projection for Maicer Izturis over a full season as a starting second baseman, represents a four-win improvement over the projections for Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, who are reportedly headed to Miami in the trade.
Toronto's rotation looked weak at the start of the season and after a flurry of Tommy John surgeries -- hopefully the Jays got a group discount -- was a smoking wreckage by the end. Buehrle and Johnson project to add six wins above replacement, and considering they replace innings likely to be thrown by replacement-level (and possibly worse) pitchers, that's likely six net wins, not gross. If Romero's recent elbow surgery fixes him to the point where he can be just half the pitcher he was in 2011, a front four of Johnson, Buehrle, Romero and Brandon Morrow looks downright good.
Bonifacio and Buck don't provide the same big gains that the other three players in the trade bring, but Buck -- with a more typical season -- is worth a few runs more than J.P. Arencibia, and Bonifacio can fake enough positions to provide excellent value as a role player. The Jays still could use a second-tier left fielder to round up the lineup, but GM Alex Anthopoulos has plenty of time left to make an addition there.
So we're looking at a Jays team that projects to win about 90 games, and while Toronto's division rivals in Tampa Bay, Baltimore and New York all won 90 or more regular-season games in 2012, none of the three was an unstoppable juggernaut and all have real concerns heading into 2013.
The Yankees are a rapidly aging team, have holes in the outfield, at designated hitter and in the rotation, and with team management no longer willing to burn through cash faster than a trust-fund baby going on a four-day bender, they're going to be hard-pressed to fill all of those holes without also blowing past the luxury-tax threshold. And don't forget that Robinson Cano is a free agent in a year and probably the hardest hitter in the lineup to replace.
Tampa Bay and Baltimore have their own problems as well. The Rays have a low payroll, but it remains unlikely that the payroll will get much of a boost this offseason and they need a couple of hitters. GM Andrew Friedman is one of the best in baseball at retooling a team on the fly, but that always leaves the risk of ending up like Lucille Ball in that famous "I Love Lucy" clip of the comedienne working at a conveyor belt. And whether you attribute Baltimore's 93-win season to luck, mojo or some combination of Orioles Magic and pit beef, it's hard to deny that Cinderella teams have a strong tendency in baseball to be disappointing the following season.
Add up what the Jays have and what they gained today and you're looking at a team with a mean expectation for wins somewhere in the high 80s or low 90s. The Jays wove straw into gold today and this time, it wasn't just a fairy tale. AL East, you have been warned.
""This isn't a bad baseball deal for Miami, but it's not a baseball deal at all -- it's a boondoggle, perpetrated by owners who have pulled one stunt like this after another, with the implicit approval of the Commissioner's Office. It's time for baseball to rid itself of Jeff Loria and David Samson by any means possible. Miami, the state of Florida, and the sport in general will be better off without them.""
From Keith Law's synopsis of this deal. I agree whole heartedly. Bud's bud is a criminal which makes Bud one too.
<""It's the reason why KLaw wants to stay an 'Insider' and not part of the machine""
It takes some brassies to call it the way it is and let's face it that fraud in Florida and his buddy Bud cost us the Expos. We should still have a team in the NL.........dammit. Hard to make friend in the industry when you tell the truth about a situation. People don't want to know the truth.
I'm in a pretty positive mood, but for the sake of the truth I can't help but say Law's assessment on Johnson is pretty off. I just MLB TV'd a few innings of a couple different games near the end of the season and he was throwing 91-93, not 94-97. Good news is that there is evidence that power pitchers often lose a couple MPH around their late 20's but that it often doesn't actually hurt their K/9 much.
** Update I have now seen him hit 95 a few times, so that is nice.