Insanity in Miami

In case you missed it, the Miami Marlins are in the midst of trading half their team to Toronto. Or did I just wake up out of a dream?

As of this writing, we’re still waiting for official word, but according to various reports, the Marlins are sending Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio to the Blue Jays in return for a slew of players that may or may not include shortstop Yunel Escobar, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, Cuban prospect Adeiny Hechavarria, outfield prospect Jake Marisnick, pitching prospects Anthony Desclafani and Justin Nicolino, and veteran backup catcher Jeff Mathis.

If it becomes reality — and all signs are pointing as such — this would be one of the biggest blockbuster deals in MLB history. Though, this type of deal is suddenly a trend, if you consider the extraordinary salary dump by the Red Sox this past August.

I can’t say it’s shocking to see the Marlins sell the farm — again. Hints at yet another rebuild came after they rid themselves of Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell, Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and Gaby Sanchez over the past few months. But it is surprising to see so many big names packaged together to one team, for what appears to be an underwhelming return.

Let’s take a very quick look at the men sent south from Toronto:

Yunel Escobar – didn’t the Marlins just get rid of a gifted, yet lazy and under-performing infielder with an attitude that caused problems in the clubhouse when they sent Hanley to LA?

Jeff Mathis - the quintessential “catch and throw” backstop who can’t hit a lick.

Henderson Alvarez – at 22, he’s young. That’s about all he has going for him.

Jake Marisnick – this 22-year-old was the #2 prospect in the Blue Jays organization according to Baseball America. Per their scouting report: “Marisnick has the potential to be a five-tool player, though questions linger about his bat.” Huh.

Adeiny Hechavarria - a Cuban defector who will be 24 years old shortly after Opening Day 2013. From the various scouting reports I’ve seen, Hechavarria sounds like an older version of Ruben Tejada: slick fielder, OK baserunner, decent bat, good enough defensively to have an everyday job at SS.

Justin Nicolino – per Baseball America, who listed him as Toronto’s #5 prospect: “Nicolino profiles as a middle-of-the-rotation starter with an ultimate ceiling of a No. 2.” From what I gather, his top pitch is a changeup, his fastball velocity hovers around 90 MPH, and he tends to throw at a too-low arm angle. He’s only 21 years old.

Anthony Desclafani – a 22-year-old righthanded pitcher from Freehold, NJ, who had an impressive season in the Midwest League.

What are your thoughts on this blockbuster? Comment away …

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Mike B November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm
    The trade is a joke, but I am glad the Reyes-Marlins marriage did not last a year. Maybe the fish will trade us Stanton for duda murphy and thole :)
  2. Joe November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm
    Marlins … the team to make Mets fans find something (rightly or not) to be superior about.
  3. MikeT November 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    It is a joke, but it is hardly surprising. I think on this site the theory was thrown out there that the Marlins were dumping guys they clearly did not think were part of the solution for 2013 (such as Hanley). At the time it seemed shrewd. Now it is just wrong because the Marlins have clearly done this for the sole purpose of shedding payroll and making bank from the revenue generated by revenue sharing, TV contracts, and the new stadium. Loria should be given an award for best job being awesome at business but awful at being an owner. He fleeced the city of Miami into building him a stadium (was not voted on by the people paying for it but by a group of city officials) and now they have a crap team to show for it.

    This is not the same types of moves that lead to their 2003 WS. This was the Marlins signing a tun of guys to back-loaded contracts with the intent of trying to win within one to two seasons.

    As for Reyes, he will likely get hurt playing on the turf in Toronto. Josh Johnson is an injury machine and Buehrle is nothing special at this point. I don’t think Toronto will win with this deal, but at least they did not give up much in return.

  4. derek November 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm
    i bet reyes wishes he took that “non-offer” from mets now…

    i do give Tor credit..in a div with bos and yankees they had to make a move and do something like this to be competitive and catch up to those 2 teams…they went high risk-high reward…hope sandy taking some notes….

  5. Dan B November 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    Reyes is making millions more per year for more years then what the Mets would of paid him and now he is on a team that is a contender. I doubt he is wishes he had signed with the Mets. Is it me or does it feel like Miami was lazy and preferred making one big trade rather then several smaller trades which might of gotten them better return? And does this mean Miami could break the Mets’ record for lowering payroll in one off season? I was so proud of that record!
    • derek November 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm
      dan,

      i def think that reyes isnt thrilled to be in tor and would rather be in ny or mia esp with media and endorsements….then lets add in weather, turf and al east..
      i think reyes could live with playing on a 3rd place team in mia rather then a 3rd-4th place team in tor….

      im also not sure they were lazy as far as making deal….nobody saw this coming…if we woke up and they traded just reyes or just johnson other gms would catch on to the sell off and they may not have gotten value…but u bring up a good pt there…

      the deal breaker for tor is if johnson goes back to his dominating form..which could shut down any team in al east and make this deal great for tor…but risk/reward i commend tor for taking the chance…

  6. Rob November 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm
    Joe: I predicted that Reyes would be traded when the Marlins signed him last year. There should almost be a rule against these kinds of “sell-offs,” but then the Mets have benefited from them in the past (Al Leiter, Mike Piazza). So i guess we can’t ban them. But Loria deserves to be vilified for such a blatant act of salary dumping. As for Reyes, he’s now playing in another country and a lot closer to the artic circle. That translates to being cold all the time; the complete opposite of his south beach heaven. I suppose what goes around…

    As for the Marlins, they deserve everything they get out of this. They defrauded the city, the tax payers of Miami and their fans. Shame on them.

    Keep up the great work!

    Best,
    Rob

    • Izzy November 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm
      Hey Rob, Reyes can afford heat. You ever been to Toronto? Obviously not, there aren’t any igloos there.
  7. Walnutz15 November 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    Don’t forget Delgado, Rob.
    • DaveSchneck November 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm
      And LoDuca
  8. friend November 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm
    “didn’t the Marlins just get rid of a gifted, yet lazy and under-performing infielder with an attitude that caused problems in the clubhouse when they sent Hanley to LA?”

    I imagine this was the one part of the deal that Miami disliked the most, but were willing to make the concession because Toronto was probably adamant about getting Escobar out of their own hair. Also, they still have time to trade Escobar.

  9. Steven November 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm
    The first thing that came to mind, was why couldn’t the mets have been in a position to trade away their crap and then start over, like Miami. Unfortunately, the expensive guys we signed had no value (Bay, Santana). In fact what Loria did was smart, since he knew the long term contracts could easily be dumped if it didnt work out. Unfortunately, when the mets made a big contract mistake it hurts them for three years. In fact, Miami has a better chance of winning a playoff in the next three years than the Mets, with at least one proven superstar in his prime to build around (Stanton). They surely are not a lock for last place next year
  10. MikeT November 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm
    Nimmo and Wheeler for Stanton. Who does it? Would you throw in Flores? Stanton might make the Mets wild card contenders instantly.

    Just some food for thought.

    • DaveSchneck November 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm
      I do it. Stanton is a monster in the majors and only 23.
  11. meticated November 15, 2012 at 1:18 am
    the marlins just went moolahball Miami style is all that occurred…no one is coming to the park anyway, even with high-priced talent …so reduce payroll to zilch…bring in a few latinos, and if they thrive then its called genius instead of madness… let the press say whatever they want…the city be damned…next year we make money and fill our accounts in the Cayman Islands ..and pass me another of those mojitos giancarlo”
  12. argonbunnies November 16, 2012 at 3:34 am
    The Marlins can run their business however they want.

    Oh, wait, actually, unlike most businesses, they’re subject to special laws based on some logic that baseball is good for the country and that it’s teams are answerable to an authority (the commissioner) who looks out for the good of American baseball.

    Well, anyone who’s looking out for American baseball clearly can’t let a team extort $360 million taxpayer dollars and then punt on any attempt to give those customers bang for their buck after one bad year.

    Oh, but is Selig really looking out for the game above and beyond looking out for the owners, an elite club of rich white men who he himself belongs to? I guess we’ll see…

    As a Mets fan, I am happy that we will get to beat up on a crappy team in our division for years to come. Just don’t throw Stanton a strike.