The non-waiver trade deadline action got pretty wild yesterday and greatly shifted the landscape of the playoff race. A few teams got a lot better and a few teams got a lot worse in the short term so they could retool for the future. There's also the Blue Jays who did nothing, for better or for worse, and will try to fight it out in the two remaining months of the season with the players they currently have. Just because Alex Anthopoulos made no significant moves does not mean the Blue Jays were unaffected by the day's events though, as many moves had a direct impact on their competition down the stretch this season. Let's take a look at how each deal affects the Blue Jays franchise shall we?
Oakland trades Yoenis Cespedes, and competitive balance pick to Boston for Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes, and cash.
This deal really set the trade deadline action into overdrive and had a large impact on all teams in the American League playoff race. The positive is that Jon Lester is out of the AL East for the rest of the season with the Blue Jays having six more games remaining against the Red Sox. Unfortunately he goes to a team that the Blue Jays will have to beat if they want to have a shot at the World Series this year. The Athletics rotation is now deeper than the Pacific Ocean and very few teams will be able to match up with them the rest of this season.
Another negative is that Yoenis Cespedes gets to play in Fenway Park until the end of 2015, which is very frightening considering how strong the Red Sox will likely be next year. Boston may have waved the white flag on this season, but they made a ton of moves that position them for a very strong year in 2015.
Verdict for Blue Jays: Bad all around
Oakland trades Tommy Milone to Minnesota for Sam Fuld
This deal quickly followed the Lester trade as Oakland had a surplus of starters and decided to shore up their Cespedes-less outfield with a trade for a player they DFA'ed only four months ago. Aside from the fact that the A's could have got a bigger return for the lefty Milone, the trade has very little impact on the Blue Jays. Fuld will play occasionally in the outfield for the contending Athletics, but he won't be a difference maker and Milone wasn't going to be in the A's starting rotation the rest of the way anyway.
Verdict for Blue Jays: Meh
Boston trades John Lackey, and Corey Littrell to St. Louis for Allen Craig, and Joe Kelly
Another smart trade by the Red Sox netted them a bounce back candidate in Allen Craig and a young controllable righty in Joe Kelly. The team seemed poised to unload Lackey and they got a pretty good return for him, once again looking towards 2015 and beyond. From the Blue Jays perspective, the Red Sox didn't improve their current team too much with this deal but it could have a bigger impact next season if Allen Craig turns it around and Joe Kelly continues to be a reliable starting pitcher.
Verdict for Blue Jays: Makes the Red Sox stronger going forward
Arizona trades Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee for Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda
In the off-chance that the Blue Jays go up against the Brewers in the World Series, then Parra will likely play in those games.
Verdict for Blue Jays: No effect
San Diego trades Chris Denorfia to Seattle for Stephen Kohlscheen and Abraham Almonte
The Mariners haven't had much production from their outfield this year so the deal for Chris Denorfia makes sense. The only problem is that Denorfia has not been good this year and probably won't improve the Seattle OF very much. Luckily, the Mariners weren't done improving that position of need.
Verdict for Blue Jays: No effect
Baltimore trades Eduardo Rodriguez to Boston for Andrew Miller
Crap. This trade bolstered the Orioles bullpen pretty seriously as Miller is an absolute shutdown lefty. It also gave the Red Sox a top arm from the Baltimore farm system, making both teams stronger in the process. With Baltimore and Toronto going head-to-head for the division and the Blue Jays having nine more games against the Orioles, this is a deal that could have a big impact going forward. The bottom half of the Blue Jays lineup these days has been mighty lefty-heavy and that could spell big trouble for the team when they face Baltimore with Miller coming out of the bullpen.
Verdict for Blue Jays: Both teams get better. Baltimore has another shutdown piece in the bullpen, while the Red Sox have a Top 100 pitching prospect going forward.
Washington trades Zach Walters to Cleveland for Asdrubal Cabrera
Cabrera was a player that the Blue Jays were rumoured to be in on throughout the week, but apparently couldn't/didn't want to beat the deal that Washington offered. It's worth noting that Cleveland is paying the remainder of Cabrera's salary, making the deal even sweeter for Washington. In terms of direct impact on the Blue Jays, there isn't much of one.
Verdict for Blue Jays: Nope
Boston trades Stephen Drew to New York for Kelly Johnson
The Yankees bolstered their infield by adding Stephen Drew and shipping away former Blue Jay Kelly Johnson to Boston in the first trade between the two rivals since 1997. With New York chasing down Toronto for the second Wild Card spot, this move could have an impact if Drew starts hitting. With the acquisitions of Chase Headley, Martin Prado and Drew, the Yankees infield is much stronger and should help them down the stretch this season. Boston didn't gain very much in Kelly Johnson, so that's a positive.
Verdict for Blue Jays: The Yankees infield is much improved
Tampa Bay trades David Price to Detroit, Seattle trades Nick Franklin to Tampa Bay, Detroit trades Austin Jackson to Seattle plus Drew Smyly and Willy Adames to Tampa Bay
The big deal of the day unfolded in the winding moments before the trade deadline and completely changed the look of the American League landscape. The Tigers acquisition of Price was in response to the arms race going on against Oakland, with the two teams looking to be on a collision course for an ALCS battle. Somehow the Blue Jays couldn't match this weak return that Tampa Bay received, which is just going to make fans in Toronto even more frustrated at the inactivity from the front office.
In terms of impact on the field, the Blue Jays only have three more games against Detroit this season with David Price projected to start on the Sunday of the weekend series. If Toronto were to win the division, they would then have to compete with the rotation of David Price, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, and Justin Verlander in the ALDS.
Seattle bolstered their outfield with Austin Jackson a lot more effectively than they did with the earlier trade for Chris Denorfia, which will help their pursuit of the Blue Jays in the Wild Card race.
Division rivals Tampa Bay essentially waved the white flag on this season, but now have a future infielder and solid lefty for the rotation as well as a promising prospect. The haul for Price could have been a lot more, so it seems that Blue Jays fans should be thankful that Andrew Friedman accepted such a light offer.
Verdict for Blue Jays: A possible ALDS competitor strengthened their rotation even further, while a team in the Wild Card chase bolstered an area of need. Meanwhile, a division rival acquired some pieces for the future, although it could have been a lot worse.
Houston trades Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez, and Francis Martes to Miami for Colin Moran, Jake Marisnick, and Austin Wates
The immediate impact of this deal was pretty obvious as the Blue Jays were scheduled to face Cosart on Thursday night before the deal was made. Aside from that change, this trade will only affect the Blue Jays in about three years when the Houston Astros are an absolute force in the American League if everything goes according to plan.
Verdict for Blue Jays: The Astros are putting together a mighty good team
New York trades Peter O'Brien to Arizona for Martin Prado
This is a deal that the Blue Jays could have made if they wanted to bring on Prado and his salary, which apparently they did not. The former Diamondback can play anywhere on the field and will be a useful piece for the Yankees heading down the stretch. New York quietly made themselves a lot better during the last week, which is unfortunate for the Blue Jays.
Verdict for Blue Jays: The Yankees got even better and more versatile
Chicago trades Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell to Atlanta for Victor Caratini and cash
Verdict for Blue Jays: Gets Emilio Bonifacio even farther away from Toronto