Alex Anthopoulos’ First Year

Alex Anthopoulos took over as general manager of the Blue Jays on October 3rd, 2009.  Though he might make a few moves in August, most of his first year is in the books.  Let's review his major moves.

  • Signed John McDonald to a two-year, $3MM deal – 11-25-09.  Fair price for the defensive whiz.
  • Signed Alex Gonzalez to a one-year, $2.75MM deal with a club option – 11-26-09.  Anthopoulos parlayed Gonzalez's strong start into a trade with the Braves for Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes (the Jays also gave up Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky).
  • Signed John Buck to a one-year, $2MM deal – 12-16-09.  Buck was well worth the price, as he is having a solid year and made the All-Star team.  He's currently on the DL with a thumb injury.  Anthopoulos chose not to trade Buck in July, so he has to hope the catcher's Type B status holds up.
  • Acquired Kyle Drabek, Travis d'Arnaud, and Michael Taylor from Phillies for Roy Halladay and $6MM – 12-16-09.  Flipped Taylor to the Athletics for Brett Wallace.  Drabek tossed a no-hitter in Double A this year and has done a solid job overall.  D'Arnaud has been generating impressive scouting reports, wrote Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein in June.  Wallace we'll get to later.
  • Acquired Brandon Morrow from the Mariners for Brandon League and Johermyn Chavez – 12-23-09.  Morrow had an incredible 17-strikeout one-hitter on Sunday; he's got the best strikeout rate of any starter this year.  The move was difficult to understand from the Mariners' point of view at the time it was made.
  • Signed Kevin Gregg to a one-year, $2.75MM deal with two club options – 2-5-10.  Credit Anthopoulos for realizing Gregg would have a decent year if his fluky home run rate returned to normal.  As with Buck, the jury is still out on whether Gregg can be converted to cheap, young players.
  • Signed Jose Molina to a one-year, $1MM deal with a club option – 2-19-10.  Another solid free agent signing.
  • Signed Adeiny Hechavarria to a four-year, $10MM deal – 4-13-10.  Signed as a free agent out of Cuba, Hechavarria has a big league-ready glove and is hitting a little bit at Double A.
  • Acquired Fred Lewis from Giants for cash – 4-15-10.  Hard to complain about Lewis' .272/.335/.444 line so far, especially given the price.
  • Signed Adonis Cardona to a $2.8MM deal – 7-13-10.  Anthopoulos remained aggressive on the international free agent front, setting a record for a Venezuelan amateur with the righty's deal. 
  • Acquired Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes from Braves for Alex GonzalezTim Collins, and Tyler Pastornicky – 7-14-10.  Anthopoulos bought low on Escobar at a time most clubs might not have even realized the shortstop was available.
  • Acquired Anthony Gose from Astros for Brett Wallace – 7-29-10.  If you're going to nitpick one Anthopoulos move, it's probably this one.
  • As for the draft, the Jays have signed three of their top four picks, with negotiations for first-rounder Deck McGuire expected to go down to the wire.  Yesterday ESPN's Keith Law wrote that the Blue Jays had a "strong haul" in the draft. 
  • Blue Jays fans couldn't ask for more from Anthopoulos' first year.  He's been aggressive on international free agents and in the draft, savvy in regular free agency, and shrewd on the trade front.  It was surprising to see the Jays retain Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Gregg, and Buck at the trade deadline, but those players may bring draft pick compensation after the season. 

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