Today in Blue Jays history:
Four Year Ago:
Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was hired for the GM job of the Braves. I said at the time that I might have a new favourite NL team, but I also said:
Congratulation Alex. I wish you the best of luck, except when you are playing the Jays. Perhaps your first move could be banning the ‘tomahawk chop’?
Despite the ‘chop’, Alex did a rather amazing job this year. Mike Soroka misses almost all the season with an injury. Ronald Acuna Jr. goes out mid-season. The team used seven catchers. Touki Toussaint missed much of the year. But Alex was able to rebuild on the fly and won a World Series. Yeah, the Braves only finished 88-73, benefitting from playing in a very weak NL East division, but Alex managed to put a team on the field that beat the Brewers, Dodgers and Astros in the playoffs. That was some terrific magic act.
Seven years ago:
The Jays traded Anthony Gose to the Tigers for Devon Travis. It was a trade I didn’t see coming, and it seemed pretty amazing that we could get Travis for Gose. Gose was a player with all the talent in the world who couldn’t seem to turn that talent into production.
We had a couple of posts on the trade:
In parts of 3 seasons, Gose had hit .234/.301/.332 with 34 steals. Travis was blocked from the majors by Ian Kinsler, so the Tigers really didn’t have a place for him.
In his time as a Blue Jay, Travis hit .274/.314/.437, with 35 homers in 316 games. Who knows what might have been without the injuries.
2018 was his first, at least relatively, injury-free season. It didn’t go great, hitting .232/.272/.381 in a career-high 103 games. It has us questioning his future with the team, considering we seem to be loaded with infield prospects.
Travis was a favourite of mine. He’s on the list with hundreds of others for whom we wonder what could have been without the injuries.
Gose? Well, he played parts of two seasons with the Tigers, hitting .247/.315/.363, with 23 steals (caught 12 times). Gose made it back to the majors, this season, as a reliever. He threw 6.2 innings, allowing just 2 hits, 1 earned, with 2 walks and 9 strikeouts. Maybe he’ll made a MLB career working out of the bullpen.
At the time, we liked the trade:
The trade was a winner for the Jays, but it would be so much better if Travis could have stayed healthy.
Eleven Years Ago:
Man, time flies.
The Oakland A’s claimed Edwin Encarnacion off waivers from us. Looking back, this could have been the worst moment in Jays’ history. Edwin put on waivers (along with Brian Tallet and DeWayne Wise) to make room, on the 40-man, for Rommie Lewis, Jesse Litsch and Dustin McGowan.
Fortunately, the A’s let Edwin become a free agent, and we signed him again. It’s tough to imagine us making the playoffs in 2015 and 2016 without Edwin.
The comment thread of our post on the subject is pretty interesting. Reading it is great fun in knowing what we know now. Some were thrilled Edwin was gone (many were more thrilled Tallet was gone). Some thought we were calling Alex Anthopoulos an idiot because we disagreed with the move. Notable in the comments was Mylegacy saying the Jays would trade for Colby Rasmus. Smart man.
In the end, it turned out Billy Beane was the idiot. We were very, very lucky we got him back.
Twelve Years Ago:
Jon Heyman told us that the Yankees were interested in trading for Roy Halladay. I was suicidal. Not that I should pick on Frag (Lord knows I’ve made some bad predictions over the years), but he wanted Jesus Montero and Austin Jackson in return for Doc (not that we did much any when we did trade him).
Twenty Five Year Ago
Pat Hentgen won the Blue Jays’ first Cy Young Award. Pat went 20-10 with a 3.22 ERA. He had 10 complete games, 3 shutouts (3), and 265.2 innings pitched, leading the AL.