The blockbuster trade that will send Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and two other players to the Toronto Blue Jays for some talented, but unproven youngsters will have serious ramifications in the Bronx. Let's go through three of the reverberations.
1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees Lifer
The most conceivable place for the Yankees to rid themselves of Alex Rodriguez was always Miami. He is from there. He is loved there. Plus, at one point, it seemed as if that was the one place that A-Rod would waive his no-trade clause.
Now that is kaput. The idea we had earlier this offseason was to take on Reyes' and Buerhrle's contracts in a deal for A-Rod, Ivan Nova and Eduardo Nunez. If the Yankees packed in another $80 million in such a deal, maybe it could have happened. Probably not, but perhaps.
In recent weeks, we have heard rumblings that A-Rod would even decline a deal to Miami. Either way, it seems as if it is not an option anymore. Even if it were and the Marlins were interested, why would A-Rod even consider baseball's warm version of Siberia?
So it is pretty unimaginable that A-Rod will be dealt this offseason. He has five years and $114 million left on his deal.
2. Could the Yankees finish fourth in the AL East?
The day after, these huge trades are always won by the team that receives the bigger names. When the games are actually played, this is often not the case.
No one knows much about Jason Marisnick or Justin Nicolino. Even the scouts who compare them to this major leaguer or that one don't know if they will reach their potential.
But in 2013, the Jays would figure to be better. Reyes should be a triples machine in Toronto. Over the five guaranteed years left on his contract, I would be concerned about the Rogers Centre turf on his legs. But, if healthy, we all know he can be a difference-maker.
Where this deal really makes sense to me is with Johnson and Buehrle. They may have regressed as starters in recent years, and the AL East is a tougher animal than the NL East, but winning this tough division will likely have to do with depth. If the Jays are healthy, they could have some starting depth, which over 162 games is vital.
There is a long time between now and February. We don't even know who is going to be in pinstripes yet. The Yankees might win the division next year -- but with the Rays, O's and now the Jays, they could very well finish fourth. The Red Sox might get better, too.
It will not be an easy road.
3. How do the Yankees counter?
They don't. Yankees GM Brian Cashman won't make a move simply because another club does something. And Hal Steinbrenner won't change his philosophy on getting the payroll to $189 million.
So to those asking about Josh Hamilton or other long-term free-agent deals: The Yankees aren't doing that this year. Cashman is a stay-the-course GM. I believe he will surprise us all by the spring with a big trade, but he won't react specifically to what the Jays have done. It is not his style.