The Blue Jays have been loading up for a serious run, bringing in Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, among others, from Miami and signing Melky Cabrera. They just hired John Gibbons for a managing sequel. Between the Jays, the Orioles and the Rays (and the Red Sox will presumably be more competitive), it should make for a great division race with the Yankees.
I asked Brian Cashman Tuesday night about the Blue Jays’ offseason and the impact on the Yankees.
“Toronto has done a lot,” Cashman said. “They’ve been very aggressive. I’ve been obviously associated with the Yankees since ’86, so I know the sleeping giant that exists up there. It’s a great baseball town. They’ve had a huge amount of success in the past. They’re fighting from the development standpoint, from the trade standpoint, from the free-agent standpoint, to get back to that. And they’ve been doing it for quite some time.
“Last year wasn’t a true reflection of how good they could have been because they got derailed with injuries and unexpected underperformance. That happens in the sport of baseball. So last year they were better than what they showed on the field, and I think their additions are certainly going to serve them extremely well.
“They’ve been on the map as far as we’ve been concerned. They’ve been one of the best teams in the game in the first half of every season the last few years. The second half, things have gone different for them. …
“It’s just more competition. It’s not surprising. You tip your cap to them. We recognize what’s going on up there. But it doesn’t change how we go about our business. We feel we know what we need to do and we’re going to try to execute it, just like they’re trying to do the same.”
I think the kings of fourth place are going to be formidable throughout for a change, if they stay healthy. Like that Blue Jays lineup. The Yankees will surely do a few more things this offseason. Do you think they ultimately should fear Toronto?