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Monday, February 18th, 2013
By Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Toronto Blue Jays Correspondent) Follow @mednickalex
The Toronto Blue Jays had a very well publicized off-season. Many moves were made, including two blockbuster trades, the signing of one of baseball’s best and most controversial contact hitters, and a new (old) manager. A core of the former Blue Jays remained intact, but between the big moves made by GM Alex Anthopoulos this off-season, along with the smaller additions, the Blue Jays have 12 new players on their 25 man roster. These 25 players are expected by many, to hit the gates running, and to at the very least, earn Toronto a spot in the playoffs come October 2013.
Clearly, team chemistry plays are huge part of winning championships. We have seen numerous teams boasting extremely talented rosters have merely moderate success, and we have seen teams loaded with professional journeymen have historic success. Michael Jordan is noted for making the comment, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships”.
The 2013 Blue Jays are very unique in that while half of their team is in fact new to Toronto, many of these players have played together and have cultural bonds. The blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins brought a total of 6 players to Toronto, all of whom, were quite obviously teammates in South Florida. 5 of these players are expected to immediately be impact players in the clubhouse. Another big trade with the Mets brought over three players who will likely contribute to the team to varying degrees, and have already formed close ties amongst each other due to the relationship that exists between a knuckleball pitcher and his battery mate. Right off the bat, we can account for 8 of the 12 new players on the roster who at the very least, already are familiar with each other and are not entering a new city completely unfamiliar with their teammates. The following players might all make their way to the ALL-Star Game at Citi Field this year: R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion .
2013 Preview of the Toronto Blue Jays: