The Blue Jays then acquired ace left-hander David Price, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, a career .297 hitter, outfielder Ben Revere and right-handed relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Mark Lowe in a flurry of trades at the end of July.
The Blue Jays took off, winning 40 of 58 games beginning Aug. 1, and taking the AL East, six games ahead of the Yankees.
After winning four straight postseason elimination games, three against the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series, and one against the Royals in the American League Championship Series, the Blue Jays' season ended Friday night with a 4-3 loss at Kansas City.
"These last couple of months, they flew by and we played such good baseball, better than you normally see for a stretch," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We're all disappointed we're not moving on. That's baseball.
"Any time you lose something, and you're trying to get to the top, it's disappointing, it sucks it out of you. But there's too many good things that have happened and too many great players that you admire and enjoy battling with, really. I won't forget that."
The Blue Jays were in the postseason for the first time since winning the World Series in 1993.
"I think the future is bright in Canada for baseball," catcher Russell Martin said. "We had a tremendous year. We definitely didn't have the finish we wanted. We're proud of the group we had. We'll hold our heads up high. You've got to give credit to Kansas City. They've got a tremendous ball club and they deserved it.
"I felt like we battled all year. We made some key acquisitions at the All Star break. From then on it felt like we had what it took to take us all the way. Unfortunately we hit a road block here."