TORONTO, Ont. – After failing to make the playoffs since last winning the World Series almost 20-years-ago, the Blue Jays are now favourites to win the championship.
Las Vegas oddsmakers have now given the Jays 8-1 odds to win it all, after General Manager Alex Anthopolous made yet another splash, trading for reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey.
Dickey, a 38-year-old knuckleballer, who won the NL Cy Young last year, is expected to anchor an already impressive Jays’ rotation.
The players could not be more thrilled about the addition, as catcher J.P. Arencibia made clear.
“I feel like Christmas has come early, I just want to get down there and start working and get the team together, and do what we need to do, work toward winning a championship,” Arencibia said.
Fellow Jays’ pitcher Ricky Romero says it has already been an exciting offseason, and continued the theme of getting down to work.
“We still have a lot of work to do and the division we play in is not an easy division, so we have to continue to work, and just win,” Romero said.
The move comes after Anthopolous already made a blockbuster trade with the Marlins earlier in the offseason, acquiring pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes and infielder Emilio Bonifacio.
Many analysts have said the Jays were clear winners this offseason, calling Anthopolous the busiest man in baseball.
“It’s all supposed to be about winning, I think sometime we lose sight of that fact, that’s the end goal and that’s the end game, I think you have to sit back and wait for the opportunity to pounce,” Anthopolous said.
Dickey, who went 20-6 with a 2.73 earned-run average for the Mets in 2012, is coming off a season in which he led the NL in strikeouts (230), ERA, innings (233 2-3), complete games (five) and shutouts (three).
Despite battling an abdominal injury, Dickey became the Mets’ first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990 and the first major leaguer in 24 years to throw consecutive one-hitters.
The trade involves the Blue Jays sending our top catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud, top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, backup catcher John Buck and minor-league outfielder Wuilmer Becerra to the New York Mets.
The Mets returned Dickey, catcher Josh Thole and minor-league catcher Mike Nickeas.
D’Arnaud is considered the Jays’ number one prospect and perhaps the best catching prospect in the game, while the 6’5″ Syndergaard is a hard-throwing pitching prospect considered one of the Jays’ best.