Blockbuster Trade Looming: Marlins and Blue Jays to Swap 12 Players

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by Andrew Coughlin

The Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins have put into motion a blockbuster trade that is seemingly one sided.  At least in terms of the immediate future.

If MLB approves the deal, the Blue Jay will receive starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, all-star SS Jose Reyes, utility player Emilio Bonifacio and catcher Jon Buck.  Miami is also set to send $4 million in cash to Toronto to help pay for the payroll the Blue Jays just inherited.

Buehrle and Reyes were signed by Miami just last year as two high profile, high priced free agents.  Josh Johnson is a bonafide ace and had a sub-par year in 2012.  Yet, he still managed to post a 3.81 ERA for the Marlins.  Johnson started 31 games and was only 8 2/3 innings shy of 200 IP.

Bonifacio, who was injured for much of 2012 can play all over the field and Buck is a certified big league catcher who went to the All-Star game in 2010.

Five players, three of which were stars of the team and three players that were dealt before the trade deadline in July have been shipped out of town.

Hanley Ramirez....gone.  Anibal Sanchez....gone.  Heath Bell....gone.  There's a good chance Ricky Nolasco is dealt before the 2013 season starts.  If that happens it would make soon to be Marlin, Yunel Escobar, the highest paid player on Miami's roster.  So, everyone on the opening day roster of the 2012 MLB season for Miami, that had guaranteed money coming to them has either been traded or well......traded.

It is very plain to see that Miami management used this trade as a means to a salary dump. Usually a team does an overhaul like this after two or three years with the same core guys and winning just isn't happening.  The Marlins made this move after less than a year.

One could argue that Miami got a great deal in return.  A plethora of young talent that will make this franchise competitive in the coming years.  

SS Adeiny Hechavarria, OF Jake Marisnick, P Anthony DeSclafani and PJustin Nicolino were a haul of decent prospects from Toronto's farm league system.  

SP Henderson Alvarez made 31 starts for the Blue Jays in 2012 and has promising upside.  SS Yunel Escobar and C Jeff Mathis were the other two included in the deal and also have big league experience.  Escobar had a down year at the plate last season hitting .253 with only 9 HRs.  Mathis is a serviceable catcher and is likely insurance at the position since Buck was sent to Toronto.

Call the deal what you will for both clubs.  An overhaul, salary dump for the Marlins looking to rebuild with young talent after only one year of fielding a star-studded roster.  And a talent grab for Toronto; looking to make a run at a pennant in the ultra-competitive AL East, while giving up some prospects to do so.

When I first read about this deal, I immediately asked myself why the Marlins were doing this after they just signed Reyes and Buehrle a year ago and heavily promoted their new stadium.

Read this article by Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.  He is a well respected baseball writer and this is his interesting take on the trade:

sports.yahoo.com/news/marlins-trade-a-baseball-tragedy-bud-selig-deserves-blame.html

 

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