The Blue Jays Marlins Mega Trade

by TSM

It all started like this:

‏@jonmorosi “Source: #BlueJays on verge of acquiring Josh Johnson from #Marlins. Deal could be even larger than that.”

@Ken_Rosenthal “Buerhle headed to #BlueJays along with Josh Johnson, sources tell me and @jonmorosi.”

‏@jonmorosi “#BlueJays and #Marlins are in midst of EPIC trade right now, sources say. And I mean EPIC.”

‏@jonmorosi “One source tells me Jose Reyes is expected to go to Toronto, as well. This is not a joke.”

And we were off.

As I wrote earlier, it was fascinating to see the deal unfold on twitter, bit by bit, piece by piece from all outlets in North America, with legitimate baseball people jumping in.

The highlight? A tweet from Marlin player Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo818) : “Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple”

So while the deal isn’t complete here’s a round the league look at the coverage, no editorial, just tried to get the list up as fast as I can. More when the deal is done.

Ken Rosenthal on the the look from South Beach:

“I’d say that commissioner Bud Selig should invoke his “best interest of baseball” powers to nullify the blockbuster. But frankly, the best interests of baseball would be better served if the deal led to Loria’s demise.”

Scott Miller over at CBS:

“And it is an utter shame, because baseball long ago should have called the exterminators to eliminate Loria from its landscape. Where’s contraction when we really need it?

Loria’s Marlins soaked the taxpayers for some 80 percent of the cost of new Marlins Park. By the time it opened in 2012, some $2.4 billion in debt service was strapped onto the backs of taxpayers. Talk about publicly funded.”

Danny Knobler on the Jays:

“The Blue Jays said they would do things like this.

We never believed them.

The Blue Jays said they could switch from collecting to contending.

We never saw any evidence.

Alex Anthopoulos said he wanted to be in position to pull the trigger on a big trade.

We waited for the proof.”

David Neal at the Miami Herald:

“This is the biggest fiasco season in the Marlins 20 seasons.

Worse than 1994 when all of baseball, management and players, blew up the World Series.

Worse than 1998, the year after the selloff.

At least that year had the memory of a World Series, the weirdness of Mike Piazza as a Marlin for five games as a rest stop between the Dodgers and Mets; and the video of a woman performing the most athletic feat at a Marlins game that season on her guy.”

Greg Cote, also from the Herald:

“The most unenviable job in South Florida today? How about the marketing rep trying to sell Marlins season-tickets. Does it ever end with this Marlins regime led by owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson? Can this ownership/management go even a full year without alienating its battered fan base?”

David Hyde from the Sun-Sentinel:

“In the end, you wonder why Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria didn’t just follow his players out of the country on Tuesday. He has no future here. Baseball has no future with him here.

Loria broke the public covenant of a new stadium and dropped napalm on the sport in South Florida by trading five Marlins regulars with expensive contracts to Toronto for a minor-league roster to be named later.

He betrayed your trust. So you’ll betray him now. He sold off his team. So you won’t buy what he’s selling anymore.I’m OK with it. The Marlins got rid of a lot of big names, but there were questions attached to all of them Brutal. Right up there with the 1998 debacle. Marlins Park the best Triple-A park in the majors by far I’m just numb. Can we please trade Loria, Samson and Beinfest tomorrow? There’s no need to organize anything with a, “Boycott the Marlins” headline. That will happen organically, perhaps even tragically for baseball fans now. And the only way that changes quickly is if Loria sells the team, which would be the smart play now.”

Jerry Crasnick, ESPN:

“The Hot Stove season was poking along at a deliberate pace, with the requisite tire kicking and early posturing between executives and agents, when Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos did the previously unthinkable: He closed in on a trade more mind-blowing than the deal that sent outfielder Vernon Wells and $80 million in salary obligations to the Los Angeles Angels two years ago. The Marlins didn’t draw that well in 2012, and it will get worse in 2013. Physical exams have yet to be completed and the official announcement is yet to come, but the names are staggering: The Marlins are about to send Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio to Toronto for shortstop Yunel Escobar and several other young, eminently affordable pieces.”

Albert Chen, SI:

“f you’re Alex Anthopolous, you pull the trigger. When the 35-year-old GM of the Blue Jays made the blockbuster deal with the Marlins that would rock the baseball world Tuesday night, he knew this: with the competitive balance in baseball stronger than ever (all but four teams have reached the postseason in the last 10 years), with all the TV money gushing into the game (MLB’s new TV deal will bring each team an average of over $25 million in revenue beginning in 2014), now isn’t the time to stay the course. If you’re a team like the Blue Jays, a team on the cusp of contention, now is precisely the time to be bold.”

Cliff Corcoran, isn’t all that impressed:

“There’s no arguing that Reyes, Johnson and Buehrle, who are ultimately the key players in this trade (at least for the coming season) are big names. Their contracts attest to that, with Johnson due to make $13.75 million in 2013, the final year of his deal. The question is whether or not they represent a significant upgrade for the Blue Jays.”

Brendan Kennedy at the Star:

“At Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in July, Jose Bautista — the Blue Jays’ lone representative — lamented how his boss, GM Alex Anthopoulos, had not done enough to make the Jays competitive in the AL East.

On Tuesday night, Bautista was singing a very different tune.

“It’s a good day to be a Blue Jay,” he tweeted, as reports of a blockbuster trade between the Jays and the Miami Marlins rapidly circulated online.

Though no official announcement had been made at press time, the Jays and Marlins reportedly swapped a total of 12 players in one of the biggest trades in MLB history.”

Jeff Blair at the Globe:

“Too bad, however, about that lousy revenue projection, which sources say put the Marlins in Selig’s crosshairs late in the 2012 season.

How could a son of Montreal pass this up? Merci, Monsieur Loria.

We’ll enjoy this now, and hope that our instincts about Adeiny Hechavarria and Justin Nicolino are wrong.”

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun:

“It’s still early and there are physicals to go through, not to mention a few games to win. Yet make no mistake: This was a franchise-altering deal.”

Steve Simmons also of the Sun:

“Well, with one stroke of the brush and many phone calls and texts, Anthopoulos has painted a new Blue Jays picture, changed the course of the waffling franchise, brought some optimism to this local land of sporting pessimism. And he did it with the largest trade in Blue Jays history — historically not the most significant, because it would have to produce two World Series to better the Pat Gillick gem of acquiring Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter — and the acquisition of the player many still consider to be the best in baseball.”

Ken Fidlin, of the Sun :

“Whether or not it is, it’s in the conversation. Seldom has any GM ever addressed so many needs in one fell swoop. Anthopoulos promised action this offseason. We think this more than qualifies.”

Steve Buffery from……

“Now, I hate to say I told you so, but clearly the tall foreheads who call the shots at Rogers have finally bought into the premise (spouted by some of us) that to compete on a consistent basis in the AL East (without hitting rock bottom and collecting a series of very high draft picks), they have to spend big money, and not just put on a happy face and expect their GM perform a miracle year after year.”

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet:

“No matter what happens next, no matter what piece of back-room mastery Alex Anthopoulos manages to pull off in the years to come, the looming blockbuster the Toronto Blue Jays are about to pull off with the Miami Marlins will be his defining move.”

Michael Grange, from sportsnet too

“This is the new Blue Jays. This is Tuesday night, all day Wednesday and pretty much every day from now until the new pitchers hear about the franchise’s volume discount on Tommy John surgery.

But until then the winter will be that much sunnier, spring will come that much sooner.

Hello Boston. Hello American League East. Hello relevance.

Could it be?

The Blue Jays are back.”

Bruce Arthur from the National Post:

“In Toronto, you wait. Whether you cheer for the hockey team, the basketball team, the baseball team, the CFL team, the soccer team, whoever, you wait for brighter days, for something better, for the good times. There are no good times here. There is just Godot, and he never comes.”

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mike in boston
mike in boston
November 14, 2012 7:49 am

awesome recap. it’s great to read the Miami side of things.

who ever Cliff Corcoran is, he’s obviously not watched the Jays much.

“The question is whether or not [Buehrle/Reyes/Johnson] represent a significant upgrade for the Blue Jays.”

they Jays got a bona fide #1 starter, a 200 inning starter and a premier shortstop. This is a huge upgrade along all dimensions.

mike in boston
mike in boston
November 14, 2012 8:01 am

so i had the FAN on last night and again this morning. Jays fan Mike Wilner was on to talk about the deal during both segments.

Last night he claimed that it would have been a huge financial risk & burden to take Darvish for 6 years, while in the same sentence saying that the Reyes 5 year deal is a totally manageable contract. What? 1 extra year turns a contract into an albatross? Dumb.

This morning he claimed that Hechavaria is already among the best shortstops in the game. What? Seriously? A guy who has played in 41 major league games, most of them at 3B or 2B is the best SS out there? This is something one of his callers would say.


More and more the following seems true: the (low) quality of JaysTalk as a radio show reflects the quality of the host, not the callers.

mike in boston
mike in boston
November 14, 2012 8:08 am

one last thing: TSM – this confirms your earlier post about how few Toronto breaking stories come from Toronto writers. Where were the baseball “insiders” Blair, Davidi, Elliott, and Lott on this?

Having lived in Boston for a while, it’s obvious that the Red Sox “reward” certain media members by letting them break stories. JP Riccardi clearly had his guys when he was here. I wonder why AA doesn’t do that, and if he takes flak from the local guys when the big guns in the US get all the scoops.

Chef Mike in Burlington
November 14, 2012 8:24 am

Call me when it’s official and all the physicals are passed, something seems smelly here…

Mike S
Mike S
November 14, 2012 10:04 am

The cheerleaders in the media are definitely out in full force after this trade……………on 1050 last night I heard Scott (Pom Pom) Ferguson say that he doesn’t see any weakness in the Blue Jay lineup now
I am happy for the diehard fans who have been waiting for Rogers to step up to the plate………………but it remains to be seen if the team will be improved enough to be a legitimate contender…………….it’s possible that this trade will help get the Jays back to 80-85 wins but no more than that

November 14, 2012 11:27 am
Reply to  mike in boston

To be fair, Darvish was an unknown big league commodity. Yes he did well in Japan but no one could say that it would translate to MLB. These guys all have track records.

Another Steve
Another Steve
November 14, 2012 11:53 am
Reply to  mike in boston

While that may seem true to you (and others), it certainly doesn’t seem true to me (and others). I get it – you don’t like Wilner. But his comment on Hechavaria was referring to his defence and, as far as I know, most people think that he is an excellent defender.

Anyway, sorry to turn this into the “I don’t like” vs. “I like” conversation, but I do sometimes like to point out that there’s hardly a consensus of people who feel just one way about Wilner.

Chef Mike in Burlington
November 14, 2012 3:15 pm
Reply to  mike in boston

Huge upgrade?? Kinda early to say, but does this mean they win 84 and miss the wildcard by 8 or win 88 and miss by 4. Either way, they are still a real starter and a real bat short of competing, and that’s assuming all these high priced guys are still on this roster in April, something i doubt…

November 14, 2012 9:56 pm

Lots of free agents out there. What about signing Kevin Youkilis or maybe take a chance on Grady Sizemore in left if you can get him cheap.

Itchy Butt
Itchy Butt
November 14, 2012 10:01 pm
Reply to  Kyle

Would love to see Youk in Jays uni. A good human being, never mind ball player.

November 14, 2012 11:21 pm
Reply to  mike in boston

Given the secrecy AA works under, I suspect the leak of the trade came from the Marlins, not the Jays, hence the US media would be more likely to hear it first before the Toronto media.

November 14, 2012 11:22 pm
Reply to  Mike S

I think the Jays can’t be done. Trading a bunch of 19-22 year olds (and Escobar) for 28-30+ year olds means you’re going for it in the present, so to not complete the puzzle would be a waste of money and prospects.

Darren Johnston
November 14, 2012 11:53 pm
Reply to  Itchy Butt

The expiry date on him reads Apr2009

Darren Johnston
November 14, 2012 11:57 pm

The Blue Jays need to move Lawrie back to 2B and Bautista back to 3B, then complete the long rumored trade for Justin Upton to come play RF, then sign Melky Cabrera to play LF, is that to much to ask? LOL

November 15, 2012 12:45 am

Wow, Bruce Arthur worked “Godot” into a sports column. Maybe he can write about the Raptors and do the same with “Krappe”.
I noticed in the twitter battle with Blair he used the expression “my friend”. Whenever you see “my friend” in a tweet you know the tweeter can’t stand the other person.

mike in boston
mike in boston
November 15, 2012 9:22 am
Reply to  Another Steve

totally fair Steve. whenever i post a negative comment about Wilner i expect a response from you or Daniel. that’s part of why i enjoy commenting here.

Wilner also said that Alvarez is going to be an ace someday. People like Wilner see a 97mph fastball and think this makes him ace material. This is hardly an objective comment … most neutral analysts that i have read point to his lack of pitches as a severe limitation, and that he projects as a mid rotation at best. For those of us who find Wilner lacking credibility, it’s just hilarious to listen to him make the same rhetorical moves as his callers.

Lastly, I would just like to point out that few people on here and other blogs actually praise Wilner for his analysis. He has many defenders, but most of his defenders point out how Wilner has to deal with idiots, that he’s not just a cheerleader, etc. So, while he has many defenders, that’s not the same thing as being well-respected or a “go-to” for information. I can’t remember reading anyone link to a Wilner blog and say “this is the best analysis of X”.

There are so many great sources for baseball analysis these days, and even Wilner’s fans don’t appear to include him in that group.

Darren Johnston
November 16, 2012 3:49 pm

Did I call the Cabrera signing or what?

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