The enormous trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins will have long term ramifications in two divisions, both the American and National League East.
It’s clear that the Marlins near future is bleak, the fans are disgusted, the players on the roster are furious and perplexed, the management is under siege, and the prospect of luring future free agents is diminished. Conversely, the Blue Jays, always seemingly on the verge of contention, may have finally received the impetus to climb the necessary step on the divisional ladder.
But how about the fortunes of the teams in competition with the Marlins and Blue Jays? Prior to last year, the National League East was placed on notice that the Marlins were back. Many picked them to outlast the Philadelphia Phillies and win the division. The cheer you might have heard after the trade was consummated emanated from the offices of the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies, all of which have realistic opportunities to make the playoffs next year and beyond. When one-fifth of your division blows up, it’s a tremendous advantage.
It’s also wonderful news for the New York Mets, a team that promises to hover around the basement for a couple of more years. With as much distance as the Mets have to travel to respectability, one less team to hurdle is a rebuilding benefit.
In the American League East, the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Rays, and now, even the Baltimore Orioles, have to pay close attention to the Blue Jays for a change. If the Red Sox emerge unscathed from two terrible seasons, which is doubtful, the AL East could feature five teams capable of competing for playoff spots. Always the toughest division in baseball, it may have just gotten better by 20%.
Of course, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle are not superstars. They’re merely good players who, cumulatively, could make a difference or flame out in a manner that might cause management to consider dumping them – as the Marlins just did.
Glenn Vallach has been a New York Mets fan since foolishly abandoning the mighty Yankees in his youth after Mickey Mantle retired. Since the fond, fleeting memories of the Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee years, he sits quietly yearning for a fraction of the success enjoyed annually by the team that inhabits the borough in which I was born…waiting and hoping…waiting and hoping.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Mets page
- · Yahoo! Sports Jose Reyes page
- · Yahoo! Sports Mark Buehrle page
- · Yahoo! Sports Josh Johnson page
- · Mark Townsend, Big League Stew, Yahoo! Sports, Marlins reportedly broke verbal no-trade promises with Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle