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Today in Blue Jays History: Jays Trade for Jose Bautista

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Seven years ago today, the Blue Jays traded Robinzon Diaz to the Pirates for Jose Bautista. It was such a big deal that we here at Bluebird Banter didn't even do a post on the trade. We did talk about it later, but the day of the trade went by without a mention of the deal.

The news did get into a post I did a couple of days later:

And Robinzon Diaz has been sent to Pittsburgh to complete the Bautista deal. So I guess we can take his name off our top 11 prospect list. I'm not sure what I think of that. Diaz didn't have the best of years and likely saw AJ Arencibia pass him by. But I thought he was closer to being Major League ready and we'll need someone next season to catch, or we'll have a heck of a lot of passed balls.

Missed on that one.

And a day later, I put up a poll on the trade. 48% thought it was a good trade for us, 52% didn't. Noticeably, I thought he was 'a middle infielder type' at the time.

A few days later I linked to a FanGraphs story "Pirates Plunder Toronto" and said this:

Another story I thought I'd pass on is from Fangraphs, Pirates Plunder Toronto. Now I don't really like the trade but to say the Jays got 'plundered' is over stating things a lot. I like Diaz but I don't think he'll become a great major league player. I think in the long run it will end of up a nothing for nothing trade. But we'll see.

Wrong again.

It took him a few days to get his first hit as a Blue Jay.

And it took a year or so, before we realized that he should be more than a platoon player.

Anyway, I think we can pretty safely say that it was a good trade for the Jays. Baseball Reference credits Jose with a WAR of 33.8 thus far in his Blue Jays career. Diaz played 44 games in the major, though I see he is playing in Colorado Springs, the Brewers Triple A team, so he might add to that total, and hitting very well there, .367/.394/.411 in 28 games.

Jose is and will always be one of my favorite players to watch. He's intense, he really wants to win, he seems to be great with his teammates. I enjoyed watching watching him working with Chris Colabello on his defense. He seems to spend a lot of time giving tips and help to his teammates. Sometimes I wish he's have a little more fun, but then he same ones that think he's too intense now, would complain just as much if he was smiling and happy.

He gets more of his share of people complaining about him. I think that's just part of the price for being the best player on a team that tends to disappoint. For some reason people blame losing on the best players. When I was a kid, I watched people blame Gary Carter for the Expos coming up just short. I always wondered why people don't blame the crappy players.

The last 7 years haven't been great for the Jays, but I can't imagine what watching them would have been like without Jose Bautista.

Some credit should be given to Cito Gaston and the hitting coaches that helped Jose find his swing.

Jose is climbing up the rankings on the Blue Jays career leader boards:

Career WAR position players: 3rd (33.8)

Offensive WAR: 2nd (33.2)

On base percentage: 6th (.381) minimum 1500 PA.

Slugging average: 2nd (.534 behind Carlos Delgado (.556))

OPS: 3rd (.915, behind Carlos Delgado (.949) and Fred McGriff (.919)

Game Played: 14th (923, he'll pass Garth Iorg next month and Adam Lind before the end of the season)

Home runs: 2nd (231, he has a long ways to go to pass Delgado at 336)

RBI: 7th (600)