November 13, 2012

The Miami Marlins fire-sale continues.: In a multi-player deal, the Toronto Blue Jays have landed three former All-Stars from the flailing fish - Pitchers Mark Buerhle and Josh Johnson and shortstop Jose Reyes. In exchange, the Marlins receive pitcher Henderson Alvarez and shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria.

posted by Ufez Jones to baseball at 07:33 PM - 27 comments

The reported deal was quickly given a thumbs down by Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

"Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & simple," Stanton tweeted.

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:36 PM on November 13, 2012

As a Blue Jays fan, I'm stunned.

Alex Anthopoulos has announced to the rest of the AL East that the Jays are going for it in 2013.

I can't stop grinning.

posted by grum@work at 08:04 PM on November 13, 2012

Didn't the Marlins *just* sign Reyes?

posted by rocketman at 08:10 PM on November 13, 2012


And Buerhle. Just last off-season.

And they just opened up that new ballpark.

The one paid for with public money.

posted by grum@work at 08:14 PM on November 13, 2012

A (very small) part of me wants to believe this is just Jeff Loria's way of paying Canada back for screwing them out of the Expos.

Then the (overwhelming majority) other part of me remembers he's just a cheapskate piece of crap.

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:40 PM on November 13, 2012

Let's not forget Emilio Bonifacio. When healthy, he adds a lot of speed and utility to a lineup. Also, the Marlins signed Heath Bell to a huge contract last off-season, only to trade him.

It'll be interesting to see how talks to extend Stanton's contract go now.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:27 PM on November 13, 2012

World Series odds on Toronto dropped from 40-1 pre-trade to 11-1 after the announcement.

posted by tommybiden at 09:37 PM on November 13, 2012

Yay! A relevant sports team in Toronto*!


*International league edition...sorry Argos.

posted by grum@work at 09:52 PM on November 13, 2012

Loria should be arrested. Or at least kicked out of baseball.

Selig better go after him the way he went after McCourt.

posted by DudeDykstra at 10:25 PM on November 13, 2012

I'm in.. I'm not in Miami, beeeeyitch.

posted by phaedon at 02:37 AM on November 14, 2012

I agree. Loria should not be allowed to continue this way. He could care less about how his moves negatively impact the game itself. Wholesale dumping of players makes them a relative non-factor in the NL East, while making the already-tough AL East even more rugged.

If major league baseball allows this type of thing to continue to happen, then it's the league that has the problem.

posted by dyams at 05:59 AM on November 14, 2012

One of the better lines this morning by a talking head

Giancarlo Stanton could have a 40/40 year, 40 HR/40 RBI's cause ther won't be anyone on base.

posted by Folkways at 07:51 AM on November 14, 2012

Loria should not be allowed to continue this way.

Commissioner Bowie Kuhn blocked several attempts by A's owner Charlie Finley to fire sale several of his players back in the mid 70's. Finley already had an antagonistic Al Davis-Pete Rozelle type of relationship with the commissioner's office, but this intervention was not a matter of personalities.

Kuhn firmly made his overruling decisions "in the best interests of baseball". Or rather, that Finley's proposed player moves were "not in the best interest of baseball".

Finley got fed up and sold the team soon thereafter. Here's wishing Loria would do the same.

Time to go check the Ozzie twitter traffic.

posted by beaverboard at 08:13 AM on November 14, 2012

Commissioner Bowie Kuhn blocked several attempts by A's owner Charlie Finley to fire sale several of his players back in the mid 70's

The difference then was that Finley was selling the players for cash. He wasn't getting any players in return. It was basically turning the A's into a de facto minor league team from the first half of the 20th century. Back then, MLB teams would buy players from unaffiliated minor league teams.

posted by grum@work at 10:31 AM on November 14, 2012

Scott Miller of CBS Sports has a wonderfully scathing piece up today about the state of the Marlins:

This is what club president/assistant snake oil salesman Samson said last December as the Marlins were signing Reyes, Buehrle and Bell: "Three years ago, looking ahead to this free-agent class, to our new ballpark, we made a decision not to wait for the excitement, but to bring the excitement to our fans.

"It was the perfect storm for our philosophy."

These guys don't even have the decency to allow a full year to pass before revealing even further that their only philosophy is lying and deceiving.

Here is what president of "baseball operations" Larry Beinfest said last month upon firing Guillen: "Our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture."

Only culture the Marlins have is the kind you swab, put on a Petri dish, place under a microscope and look for contagious bacteria. Mike Redmond just signed to manage in baseball's sewage system.


The Marlins ran their payroll up to a club-record $100 million in 2012. After trading Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers), Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante (Tigers), Edward Mujica (Cardinals), Bell (Diamondbacks) and, now, Reyes, Buehrle and Josh Johnson (Blue Jays), they're down to around $16 million before arbitration for 2013.

In Reyes (six years, $106 million) and Buehrle (four-years, $58 million), the Marlins are shipping to Toronto two marquee free agents who had made good-faith commitments to them, given the absence of no-trade clauses.

In Miami, there is no good faith.

There only is a new shortstop, Yunel Escobar, best-known for wearing a gay slur on his eyeblack in September.

What we'll hear from the Marlins con men is all sorts of sonnets to the prospects they're receiving from the Jays, but don't buy it. Sure, of the seven players headed to Miami, three were ranked among Baseball America's top 10 Blue Jays prospects (starter Henderson Alvarez, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and outfielder Jake Marisnick).

But at this time, in this place, after last winter and with a taxpayer-funded ballpark, this blight on the game of a franchise should be about the now, not the future.

This didn't have to happen. It shouldn't have happened.

And whether it's by Commissioner Bud Selig, the Securities and Exchange Commission or Secret Agent Man, the swindler Loria must be stopped.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:47 AM on November 14, 2012

The deals for Reyes and Buehrle were both backloaded and will increase dramatically. Reyes will go from making $10 million next season to $22 million in each of the four remaining years on his contract. Buehrle is scheduled to make $11 million in 2013, $18 million in 2014 and $19 million in 2015.

Wow, 22 million a year for 4 years? Got to hand it to the jays, they're all in.

posted by justgary at 11:13 AM on November 14, 2012

The Red Sox apparently enquiried but were put off by the Marlins' asking price.

posted by yerfatma at 12:52 PM on November 14, 2012

How much for the monstrosity home-run machine in the outfield? Or are they waiting for the white-elephant party to get rid of that?

posted by Bonkers at 01:40 PM on November 14, 2012

Another scathing piece on Loria here.

posted by beaverboard at 02:28 PM on November 14, 2012

I don't really get the scathing pieces: does anyone think Bud Selig/ baseball will do anything? I'd be happy to be wrong, but if Loria was given another franchise after moving the Expos, he's going to have to Max Mosley it up to get run out of baseball.

posted by yerfatma at 02:36 PM on November 14, 2012

I'll be going over my Rogers bill next month very carefully.

posted by tommybiden at 02:51 PM on November 14, 2012

While Loria is an awful owner and I don't really mean to defend him, there's another more fundamental problem here aside from him: Nobody in Miami particularly cares about baseball. Or at least not enough of them to justify building that stadium they just got.

It's time for another game of "If TheQatarian Was Commissioner": Instead of building that stadium in a market where people don't care about baseball, move the franchise to Vegas, a market that is sizable enough to support a team and would be happy to have one. Move them to the AL West, move Pittsburgh to the NL East, and you have six geographically logical divisions of five teams each. This would seem to be infinitely preferable to having a team in Miami that no one cares about playing in a stadium where the atmosphere is comparable to a Brazilian folk festival, and awkwardly moving the Houston Astros to the AL West.

But maybe that's just me.

posted by TheQatarian at 04:23 PM on November 14, 2012

Shame what Marlins' fans have had to endure: it's a flashback to the fire sales of 1997 and 2003.

posted by jjzucal at 05:01 PM on November 14, 2012

At least they had World Series trophies to look on fondly after those seasons...

For me the real culprit? The civic leaders in Miami and Florida that let that ballpark be built with taxpayer funds. I'm so tired of these moral hazard stadiums, built lavishly so that a few years later the state can claim empty pockets for schools, roads, police and fire departments, unemployment insurance, etc.

Just once, I'd like to see one of these deals where, if the government foots all or part of the bill, they have the best lawyers they can find put in all sorts of clauses, related to "marketable product" on the field, or competitive performance, or ticket sales, etc. Would Loria and his ilk do the firesale- when surely it's a cash grab to get some of the luxury tax revenue- if for example doing so would trigger a clause making them responsible for the full annual bill to the new stadium?

posted by hincandenza at 05:35 PM on November 14, 2012

Michael Wilbon says it's brilliant because the Marlins have had two previous fire sales and have also won two World Series. I'm just going to leave that here.

posted by yerfatma at 05:41 PM on November 14, 2012

I bet Reyes is pissed that the Marlins made him cut his hair.

posted by BornIcon at 02:38 PM on November 15, 2012

It's official.

posted by tommybiden at 04:22 PM on November 19, 2012

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