Personally, we blame the Ack.
There we were, totally ready to settle in for a snoozy offseason, with nothing but marginal moves and the odd pickup of a guy on a short deal for little money. It wasn't going to upset nobody's apple cart.
And then our Weekend Editor (who will - to his surprise - be taking the reins around here for much of the holiday season) goes and starts writing about dominoes and splashy moves and goddamnit! Say goodbye to Shaun Marcum. We halfway considered going into the Ack's post from the weekend and switching out any mentions of "Travis Snider" for "Eric Thames" and "Kyle Drabek" for "Brad Mills", just to see if we could avoid any further stress and strain.
(Yes...in our mind, this offseason is like an episode of the Twilight Zone where whatever The Ack thinks comes true. So be prepared to make the trek westward to see the Winnipeg Blue Jays starting next year. On the plus side, they'll be in the Central Division! Playoffs!!!1)
Okay, enough of the tomfoolery. A few quick thoughts:
The Marcum Trade
There are some who figure that the Marcum trade is just the start of the moves, and that the Zack Greinke acquisition is sure to follow. The longer we had to think about it, the more that we figured that someone might have grabbed their Jump to Conclusions mat and started hoping around like a mad man.
So setting aside what comes next: We'll give our blog bro hug to Marcum later this week, and we're sad to see him go, but he seemed like the most obvious piece to move. He'll be 29 this year, and likely has a few good seasons left in that arm. But the Jays were getting close to a point where they would have to commit to him, and it was better to move him early rather than late.
Also: We were totally wrong about Marcum's delivery, which we use to think was easy and effortless. But now we look at that pronation, and it kinda scares us. So we can live with that being another team's problem.
As for who's coming back: We're all probably a little too invested in Bret Lawrie as Canadian baseball fans. Strip the maple leaf off his chest, and tell us that the Jays just acquired a guy who has been moved from position to position, hit eight homers last season and posted an OPS below .800 at Double-A, and refused to report to the Arizona Fall League, and we probably would have spent most of the day scratching our heads over this. It would have made the Anthony Gose deal seem obvious.
Still, Lawrie is well-regarded by at least a few scouts out there. We hope. And he's only 21. So there's time for him to pull his stuff together.
(Also, one report noted that the Jays may have been after Mat Gamel, which made us wonder who we'd prefer. We'd lean towards Gamel at this point, with the notion that he'd be ready to take over at third immediately. But we're open to being proved wrong.)
BREAKING! Pat Gillick in the Hall of Fame!
This is not unexpected, but is still great news nonetheless. A trifecta of Gillick, Robbie Alomar and Tom Cheek would make for a hell of a Canadian contingest at Cooperstown this year. But again, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
One thought on Gillick, which we've stated here before, but which bears repeating: There was a time where he was in the sights of the Canadian sports media, who tore into him for not doing enough to put the Jays over the top. "Stand Pat" they called, and they were pretty much ready to run him out of town in 1988.
So to the GMs of Toronto franchises, we offer this bit of solace: It gets better.