The Blue Jays have acquired Melvin Upton Jr., a nice move that bolsters a playoff run this year while preemptively adding a piece next year, without taking on much in salary commitment or paying a huge prospect price. How did we get to this point? Well, it's an interesting story:
Step 1: Be crowned the winner of the 2012-13 offseason with a series of aggressive win-now deals, acquiring expensive veterans with big contracts.
Step 2: Fall flat on your face the next season and have a terrible 2013, going 74-88 and finishing last in the division.
Step 3: As a result of having the 9th worst record, be awarded the 9th overall draft pick - including at that winter's 2013 Rule 5 draft.
Step 4: Leverage that high Rule 5 draft to take a player a team behind you wants but fears won't fall to them, and select LHP Brian Moran from the Mariners and flip him to the Angels for an international bonus slot worth $243,500.
Step 5: Use that newfound spending ability to sign a 16 year old who was overlooked in the initial wave of July 2 international signings, and give RHP Hansel Rodriguez a $330,000 signing bonus.
Step 6: Fast forward a little bit to the 2014-15 offseason as San Diego gets a new GM who is crowned the winner of the 2014-15 offseason with a series of aggressive win-now deals, acquiring expensive veterans with big contracts including one Melvin Upton Jr. on the eve of Opening Day.
Step 7: San Diego falls flat on their face the next season, going 74-88 and finishing 4th in the division, leading to a wholesale teardown and rebuild.
Step 8: Seeking to shed salary, add to their farm system and find major league opportunities for other prospects, San Diego moves Upton to Toronto while eating most of the salary, for the now 19 year old Rodriguez, off a good start in rookie short season ball.
Isn't it so easy and straight forward to be a major league general manager?