Well, if you haven’t heard of this deal yet, then you must be living under a rock; breaking news broke last night right before Bob Melvin won the 2012 AL Manager of the Year award that the Marlins and Blue Jays were close to completing a blockbuster deal that included just about every Miami player that was making more than the league minimum. Toronto sends Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, Jeff Mathis, Anthony DeSclafani, and Adeiny Hechavarria to Miami in exchange for Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio.
It’s not like I didn’t see this fire sale coming from the Marlins, it’s just weird to see it happen without them first winning a World Series. The one shocker to me was the fact that they traded away Reyes, who seemed to be the one untouchable player during the season around the trade deadline (outside of Giancarlo Stanton). I thought the Miami front office would at least keep these two so they could build their next contender around them. Instead, it’s just Stanton, and he’s not happy about it, tweeting shortly after the news broke that he’s “pissed off” at what happened, and rightfully so.
Although the Marlins are getting a decent shortstop in back in Yunel Escobar, he’s no Jose Reyes and his attitude is less than stellar. They’re also getting some promosing prospects, but we all know prospects don’t always turn into viable Major League players. Anyone that follows the game knows this move was made with the motive of dumping money for owner Jeffrey Loria. It’s a shame that’s what they have to do, but that’s what happens when the front office doesn’t have a real plan and just tries to sign every top-of-the-line free agent with the expectation of winning. Since it crashed and burned (which is not shocking), they decided to wave the white flag without giving it a real try. Why? Well, because they paid all this money for a new stadium, and handed out these huge contracts filled with imaginary money (anticipated future revenue), assuming they would be making money hand over fist and could afford it all. Well, there still isn’t anyone who legitimately cares about professional baseball in Florida, whether it’s for the Marlins or the Rays, and Miami didn’t bring in nearly as much revenue as they thought they would, and all of a sudden couldn’t afford their players anymore. Good thing they don’t hand out no-trade clauses.
In regards to Jose Reyes, what a difference a year makes. At this time last winter, we were speculating as to whether or not Sandy Alderson had enough money to keep him in Flushing, and whether or not Jose would give the only organization he’s ever played for a hometown discount. Now, he has his big contract, but he moves to the American League, and is headed to Canada to play on his third team in three years. If all goes right in Toronto, the Blue Jays will be a force in the AL East, but it wasn’t Jose’s choice to go there, so who knows if he’ll really enjoy it.
However, this move is big for the Mets for a few reasons. One, they won’t have to see Reyes play against them 19 times a year anymore, which we thought we would be seeing for another five years. So, the healing process for fans will speed up tremendously, instead of rubbing salt in the wound every time he comes to town.
Two, he’s not only out of the division, but out of the National League, meaning he’ll play against the Mets even less. Even though interleague play is being expanded, anything would be better than him being in the NL East.
Three, this trade ultimately weakens the Marlins for the immediate future, presumably keeping them in the basement of the division for now. They did get what they feel are impact prospects that will eventually help the organization at the MLB level, but it won’t be in 2013, and may not be in 2014 either. So, before the Mets make any moves to improve their roster this off-season, they’ve already taken a step to distance themselves from Miami.
Everyone seems to have their own opinion about the Reyes negotiations last year and how Sandy handled everything. To me, it doesn’t matter whether he officially submitted an offer or not; Alderson spoke to Peter Greenberg and told the agent they were willing to talk at five-years and $80 million. If Jose wasn’t determined to get the most money possible (which sources later reported), he would have given the Mets more of a chance, and he certainly wouldn’t be playing on his third team in as many years after being traded for the first time in his career. One thing that’s for sure is that if Alderson didn’t trade him in 2011 before he hit free agency, he definitely wouldn’t have been traded if he re-signed with the organization.
I wish Jose the best; now that he’s not in the NL East, it will be easier to root for him and I won’t feel guilty if I draft him on my fantasy team. Since we won’t have to see him 19 times a year anymore, it won’t be flaunted in our face that he left every time the two teams meet. He’s definitely joining an exciting team. As for the Marlins, they’re back in rebuilding mode.