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.”