Sources: Marlins, Jays make epic deal
The Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins consummated one of the largest trades in baseball history Tuesday, in what amounted to an epic backpedal from the Marlins’ aggressive spending less than one year ago.
The Blue Jays are set to acquire starters Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes, infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck from the Marlins, sources told FOXSports.com.
The Marlins will receive a package that includes shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, major-league right-hander Henderson Alvarez, minor-league left-hander Justin Nicolino, center fielder Jacob Marisnick, catcher Jeff Mathis and minor league right-hander Anthony DeSclafani.
For the Marlins, the salary purge is shocking (based on their Opening Day payroll of roughly $100 million this year) but also predictable, when considering their organizational history of fire sales. After the trade, the club has roughly $16 million on the books for 2013, not including arbitration-eligible players. One source said starter Ricky Nolasco could be the next Marlins player dealt.
The blockbuster was made possible by the fact that the Marlins, as a club policy, do not award no-trade clauses. Thus, the Blue Jays were able to obtain veterans such as Buehrle and Reyes who did not seriously consider Toronto during free agency. In the past, Buehrle spoke about a desire to pitch near his home in Missouri.
Neither team had formally announced the trade as of 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but it seemed unlikely that commissioner Bud Selig would make any move to negate the deal. When an official with one of the clubs was asked if he had concerns Selig would disallow the deal, the executive replied, “None at all.”
Toronto is the lone major-league team without a manager, which added intrigue to the move. Does Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos quietly have someone in place, or does he hope that such a dramatic trade will broaden the field of interested candidates?
The Blue Jays figure to be competitive in the changing American League East, while the Marlins are looking at the early stages of yet another rebuild. Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton — the team’s lone remaining star — probably summarized the feelings of the veterans left in his clubhouse. In a tweet from his account, @Giancarlo818, he said, "Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple."
A key consideration in the deal is that new Marlins manager Mike Redmond managed in the Toronto system and knows many of the prospects Miami will receive. Redmond actually managed Marisnick this season with Class A Dunedin of the Florida State League. Soon, Redmond may be writing Marisnick’s name on a lineup card at Marlins Park — a notion that seemed inconceivable as the Ozzie Guillen-led Marlins began their spending frenzy one year ago.