No one does firesales like the Miami Marlins, a fact they reinforced once again on Tuesday when they sent basically every good player not named Giancarlo Stanton to the Blue Jays. In return, the Marlins landed Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, and a few prospects. Oh, and Jeff Mathis. That’s important.
In all, the teams swapped a dozen players. I’d list the headliners, but every single player sent to Toronto would be a pretty big story if traded alone. That Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck were all sent North of the border in the same trade and all Miami really got in return was salary relief makes this one of the biggest white flag deals in baseball history.
It also means that less than one year after the Marlins were the talk of baseball when they signed Buehrle, Reyes, and Heath Bell, all three plus Anibal Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante, and Johnson have been traded away.
Remember when everyone couldn’t understand why Albert Pujols turned down the Marlins because they wouldn’t include a no-trade clause? Well, this is why they don’t hand those out in Miami. New Marlins manager Mike Redmond has to be feeling like the rug just got pulled out from under him.
Obviously, this is a transformative deal for both franchises. Toronto had been seeking pitching and was looking for a place to dump Escobar. Luckily for them, the Marlins exist. Toronto suddenly boasts a pretty solid rotation with Johnson and Buehrle joining Brandon Marrow at the top. If Ricky Romero can find the strike zone again, this is an outstanding starting staff.
John Buck returns to the Blue Jays, where he has the best season of his career, and he figures to split time with J.P. Arencibia. Reyes takes over for Escobar at short and instantly gives the Blue Jays an elite lead-off hitter in front of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. That doesn’t even mention Bonifacio, whose shown himself to be a very useful player.
If Toronto keeps all of these pieces, this trade suddenly makes them a legitimate contender in the AL East. They’ll have a rotation capable of keeping them in games and a lineup that can out-score most anyone.
In short, the Blue Jays, with one trade, went from being pretty close to irrelevant to very much relevant instantly.
For the Marlins, the only real questions left are who will get Stanton, and will they draw even 5000 fans per game in that brand new ballpark they stole from the citizens of Miami.
What Jeffrey Loria does to this team and this fanbase, however small they are, shouldn’t be allowed.