Okay that’s a lie but it’s not really that far from the truth.
As everyone was getting ready to eat a dinner, news of a blockbuster trade came across the wire. The Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays are working on a deal that could see the Jays acquiring Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Jose Reyes. The names being mentioned on the Jays side of the deal are Yunel Escobar Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick and Adeiny Hechavarria.
More details need to be worked out but wow, this is some move by both teams. The Marlins are “marlinsing” by having a fire sale and the Blue Jays just improved their roster by leaps and bounds.
UPDATE: The trade is as follows, Reyes, Johnson, Buehrle, Buck, Bonifacio and $4M for Escobar, Hechavarria, Alvarez, Nicolino, Mathis, Marisnick and DeSclafani.
[Brien]: So this is a pretty big deal, huh? Just like that the Blue Jays have added a lot of name value to their roster, and if Reyes has a bounce back year and Johnson can stay healthy, they could be legitimate contenders in the A.L. East this year. They’ve still got some holes to fill and may not have a ton of money to fill them with after taking on these contracts, but adding two top of the rotation starters and an All-Star shortstop in the same deal is some kind of haul.
As for the Marlins, well, they’re pretty much beyond parody right now. I don’t actually think this is quite as bad a move on the baseball front as it will be made out to be, especially since they didn’t win with the team they assembled for 2012, but this is a PR disaster for them. I can’t imagine anyone actually wanting to root for this organization anymore so long as Jeffrey Loria is in charge (of course, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to root for a team owned by Jeffrey Loria to begin with), and even Giancarlo Stanton is, um, not happy about this development. And as far as the broader implications for Major League Baseball, the fact that Reyes, Buehrle, and Heath Bell will all be playing for new teams just one year after signing with Miami pretty much makes a total mockery out of last year’s offseason, no?
[Jason]: Had to chirp in here after seeing this on my commute home. I’m flat out stunned. I can’t but think that the Blue Jays leadership are thinking the following:
- The Yanks are sinking (partly because of their $189M limbo bar, partly due to age)
- The RedSox are not recovering as fast as Bahstan fans want to imagine
- The Orioles are not a sustainable success
- Tampa might have to sell off more pitching for cheaper, less proven players
- Now is the time to strike and make a leap
I find this deal utterly fascinating. It totally screws Miami fans, if there were any, and more likely, the municipality who funded the new stadium which will now play to ghosts and echoes. I think Marlins ownership is a f*cking farce for doing this. Shame on them. Loria is an embarrassment. As Brien said above, this lays waste to an entire off-season of goodwill building.
As for Mike Stanton, he’s the last thing fans have to root for and the best chip the Marlins have to flip into a boatload of prospects. Feel free to start the #yourtradeproposalsucks ideas below, but I’d eagerly part with the upper crust of the Yanks farm system to get my hands on this kid. Drooooolllllll. Yeah, I said it. So there.
[Brien II]: So after thinking about this deal some more, it looks even more bonkers to me now. Toronto is having praise heaped on them, but we’ve been down that road before with limited pay off for them, and this could be another example of that, given the very real possibility that Johnson and/or Reyes gets hurt and that Buehrle’s low strikeout ways catch up to him in the A.L. East. If nothing else, they’ve given up a ton in terms of players and money to acquire two overpaid free agents the Marlins wanted to unload and one extremely injury prone N.L. ace. Good luck with that.
As for Miami, well, Jeffrey Loria sucks. Let’s just get that out there at the outset. That said, I’m starting to really like this deal from the Marlins’ perspective. One thing that I’ve repeatedly thought that commentators just haven’t acknowledged since Miami traded away Hanley Ramirez is that their massive spending spree last winter didn’t actually make them a contender. Instead, they were just a wildly overrated spring headline grabber who wound up losing a lot of games, and the marquee signings didn’t really help to alleviate that all that much. This isn’t 1998 with a loaded World Series champion packing things in to save money, these Marlins are breaking up a losing group of players by getting rid of contracts that represent overpays to various degrees (plus Johnson, who pretty much has to be traded soon, lest he have a chance to blow his arm out and net you nothing) and getting some really good young talent in the process. I know that if I was running that team, I’d much rather have Hechavarria, Alvarez, and Jacob Turner than Reyes, Buehrle, and Johnson in 2012.
Of course, the big question now is what they’ll do from here. Do they take the savings from this deal and make a real effort to lock up Stanton to a long term contract? Or does Loria just pocket the money along with all of that sweet revenue sharing/public financing loot? If it’s the former, then the moves the Marlins have been making since July could very well represent the groundwork for their next winning team. If it’s the latter,well….Jeffrey Loria sucks.