Today in Blue Jays history:
Five Years Ago:
The Braves hired former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos for their GM job. 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. Your first move could be banning the ‘tomahawk chop’.
The chop is still happening, but he’s built a great time.
Eight 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 incredible 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 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.
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? He played parts of two seasons with the Tigers, hitting .247/.315/.363, with 23 steals (caught 12 times). He returned to the majors as a reliever, throwing 27.2 for Cleveland between 2021 and 2022. Baseball Reference doesn’t show him playing anywhere in 2023. Maybe his baseball career is over.
At the time, we liked the trade:
The trade was a winner for the Jays, but it would have been so much better if Travis had stayed healthy.
Twelve 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 the 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 was interesting (and, of course, has vanished). 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 Edwin back.
Thirteen Years Ago:
Jon Heyman told us that the Yankees were interested in trading for Roy Halladay. I was suicidal. Another comment thread that disappeared, but 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 got much when we did trade him).
Twenty Seven Years Ago
Pat Hentgen won the Blue Jays’ first Cy Young Award. Pat went 20-10 with a 3.22 ERA. He pitched 10 complete games, 3 shutouts (3), and 265.2 innings, leading the AL.