November 13, 2012 by Matt Musico
Holy crap. There I was, sitting in front of my TV waiting to see who the AL Manager of the Year is, and everything stops on MLB Network with breaking news that Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, John Buck, Mark Buerhrle, and Emilio Bonifacio are all headed to the Toronto Blue Jays in a monster trade that nets Miami with Yunel Escobar, prospects Jake Marisnick and Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis, Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino, and Anthony DeSclafani. Althought analysts are already saying the Marlins received some very talented players in return, the Blue Jays win this deal without any doubt.
Sure, they’ll have to pay a lot of money to the players they received from the Marlins, but the potential bang for their buck is tremendous. Buehrle is entering the second year of his four-year/$58 million deal, Reyes is also in the second year of his monster six-year/$106 million contract, Johnson is due $13 million next season, Buck will earn $6 million, and Bonifacio is priced at $2.2 million. So, there’s a lot of extra payroll that is brought on here by Toronto, but if this new crop of players meshes well with the incumbent players (Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Ricky Romero, Brett Lawrie and friends), this team will be making some noise in the already deep AL East. This move makes takes this division to another level, which was already the toughest in baseball in my eyes.
As for the Marlins, this just continues the downward spiral for their reputation throughout baseball. It’s one thing to have a fire sale after a team wins a World Series, but to load up one winter and quit the next year since it didn’t go as planned is another. Last winter, I mentioned the fact that the Marlins don’t provide players with no-trade clauses, so another fire sale was imminent once waters were rough. Unfortunately for them, times got tough quickly with an underperforming team, and a brand new stadium with no way to pay for it because no one in Miami seems to care about professional baseball. Miami saw their payroll jump from $57 million to $118 million before 2012 with the spending spree they went on, and now that they’ve traded all of those free agent signings away this winter, it will drop drastically. I’m surprised there is no talk of this trade not going through because it seems so lopsided when it comes to the amount of talent being sent both ways. It’s clear this move was motivated by finances for the Marlins, and it’s a shame they quit before even giving it a real try.
However, championships aren’t won on paper, they’re won on the field; the Blue Jays have some work to do in 2013, but it looks real good right now. Also, serves Jose Reyes right for just wanting to get the most money he could out of his free agency. There’s nothing wrong with being in Canada, but it’s not New York or Miami. I can tell you that if he wanted to listen to what the Mets were prepared to offer, he would be in a much different situation right now. Just sayin’.