The Toronto Blue Jays are on the verge of completing a blockbuster deal to acquire Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonafacio from Jeffrey Loria. The Red Sox initially tried to make a deal for Reyes, but the Jays were able to seal the deal and transform their team in one fell swoop.

It’s not a surprise to hear that Boston was pursuing Reyes. But it’s certainly a shock to see Toronto making such an aggressive and bold move. It begs the question: Why now?

Why does a team which had the 23rd highest payroll in MLB this season, has not made the playoffs in two decades, and finished behind nine other American League teams in Pythagorean Record — why does such a team all of sudden decide to take on $150 mil worth of salary in excellent but risky veterans who are starting their decline years?

One major factor is surely that Toronto GM Alex Anthropoulos smells blood leaking through the office door of the newly handicapped Brian Cashman. The Steinbrenner Cap is going to make the Yankees a worse team over at least the next couple of years:

1. The Yankees have all but announced they are content to downgrade in RF.

2. All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano is in the last year of his below-market value contract, and an extension is far from imminent. Same goes for Curtis Granderson.

3. The kids in the farm system are generally not ready to step in and replace any vital parts at the big league level — according to Cashman.

4. The Yankees have also signaled their commitment to downgrading by letting free agent bargains pass by despite their clear utility to the team.

$189 million is a giant bat signal to rival AL East GMs, letting them know that Yankee ownership is wreaking criminal havoc against Gotham and emboldening them to take heroic measures on behalf of their fanbase.