Out here in cyber vacation land, my e-mail box and Twitter feed are getting flooded by inquiries about the R.A. Dickey trade and how the Blue Jays have chipped away again at the Bisons' potential roster for their first season as a Toronto affiliate. Sorry if you don't get the responses you normally get but it will be the same to everyone, so follow along here for the Cliff Notes analysis.
Blue Jays: They're going for it in 2013. The World Series. They haven't made the playoffs since 1993 but with the Yankees and Red Sox either aged or broken down and the Orioles largely considered a one-year fluke, it would seem Toronto and Tampa Bay are the teams to beat in the AL East. The Blue Jays now have the best rotation in baseball with Dickey, Brandon Morrow, John Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Romero and a lineup with standouts in their prime (Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion) and young players on the rise (think Brett Lawrie).
Bisons: Catcher Travis d'Arnaud was the top prospect in the Toronto system and the Blue Jays mortgaged him for a multi-year run at the postseason with Dickey atop the rotation. He was going to be Buffalo's Opening Day catcher but he wasn't going to be in Triple-A long, perhaps only as long as April to make sure his injured knee was OK -- and to delay his free agency by a year (think Bryce Harper in Syracuse last April). Noah Syndergaard, the pitcher traded, was a star last year at Class A Lansing and figured to not hit Buffalo until 2014. The Blue Jays have already signed nearly 20 minor-league free agents for Buffalo and top outfield prospects Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra remain. Mike Nickeas will return to Buffalo via the Dickey trade. Overall, this is a much deeper farm system than the Mets.
Mets: It's pretty incredible that a New York City team won't re-sign a Cy Young winner and instead sells high, dumping him for prospects. Now, the Mets likely got some great ones but why are they acting like the Kansas City Royals? They're obviously throwing 2013 away but they've got great young arms (Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia and Collin McHugh are all familiar to Bisons fans) so that bodes well for the future. But big-market teams normally just reload. Another sign of an ownership in financial chaos. The Bisons needed to break away.
Back to vacation. Happy Holidays to all and looking forward to a wild 2013 of coverage of the Bisons, Blue Jays and the rest of the baseball world. Thanks for all your support in 2012!