How am I feeling right now? Pretty much like how I felt when I found out Marcus Stroman was injured, but exactly opposite. When I first saw the text about the move from Tom, my heart was beating in strange ways and I started shaking giddily. Next time something like this happens, hook me up to a heart rate monitor and shove me in an MRI before you tell me and give the results to science.
Troy Tulowitzki. The guy whose name was always tied to Ricky Romero is actually a member of the Toronto Blue Jays now. Troy Tulowitzki is a Toronto Blue Jay. He is an all-star shortstop and needs little introduction, so I'll stop now.
They got LaTroy Hawkins too. Don't forget about him. The ageless wonder from Gary, Indiana. He made his debut with the Twins--the team I still picture him with in my head--on April 29, 1995, a year before I vomited in Windows Restaurant. Chuck Knoblauch, Kirby Puckett, and Marty Cordova were in the lineup for his disastrous start. But in LaTroy, the Blue Jays have acquired another good clubhouse guy, someone who looks after rookies, tips all the time, and goes to bar mitvahs. Someone who will provide veteran presents and some quality relief innings before he rides off into retirement. Wouldn't it be nice if he gets to carry a pennant on his ride?
But the Rockies are getting a good haul too, picking up Jose Reyes, Miguel Castro, and Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman, barely a Blue Jay, is a highly-hyped prospect who was supposed to have gone first overall in the 2014 draft if not for his Tommy John surgery. He made his first pro start, hashtagged as #Hoffmas (or #RoshHoffanah) in A-advanced Dunedin and was quickly promoted to double-A New Hampshire for #Hoffmanchester. We never got a chance to see #Hoffalo or #Hofftario. I just regret never seeing him pitch live and in person. Out of the three, I figure that he has a chance to be the one that might hurt the most in the future, but he might also never make it to major league free agency. But you know what, getting Troy Tulowitzki for Hoffman is infinitely better than getting Dan Duquette. No offense to Dan.
Miguel Castro. I didn't even know what he looked like before this spring when he received a major league invite and appeared on a mound on TV for the first time. He was like a stick always in danger of being blown over by a gust of Floridian wind. But when he wound his arm back and whipped it forward, amazing things happened. The 20-year-old Castro, together with his good buddy Roberto Osuna, both made onto the roster to start the season.
He didn't last in the big leagues for a long time but he did provide me with a pretty nice moment down at the Rogers Centre. I was standing with a friend down in the 100-level concourse while Castro was pitching in relief in early April. He wound up and threw a fastball. A young girl--no more than 6 or 7--turned, jaw-dropped to her parents and pointed at the Jumbotron and said, "97! He threw 97!" There was genuine joy and astonishment in her voice.
Jose Reyes. Jose Reyes was a Blue Jay.
What can I say. I loved him. When he cried that night in Kansas City, I cried. I was chatting with friends at a loud bar and suddenly the room fell dead silent. It was the beginning of the end of the 2013 season that was supposed to have been the year the Blue Jays made their triumphant return to the playoffs. But then every time that guy smiled--and it was often--I smiled too. He had fun playing the game despite his age catching up with him. He was making too much money and didn't have the range and too often chased at pitches, but you know what, Jose Reyes was a Blue Jay. I will never forget his time here.
And lastly, Alex. Alex Anthopoulos, general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. And probably general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays for some time to come. You wouldn't expect the Rogers empire to let someone on a short leash to add over $50 million in guaranteed payroll (figures via Cot's Baseball Contracts), would they?
It is just past three o'clock right now and I have to get to bed. There is a good chance another good prospect will go to Colorado in this deal. But then again, there is a good chance I am not going to be able to sleep tonight because you know what, the Blue Jays are a better team right now (well, will be a better team on Wednesday) than they were on Sunday.
Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins are Toronto Blue Jays.