Skip to content

Breaking down the huge Toronto-Miami trade

Nov 13, 2012, 8:16 PM EST

Jose Reyes Getty Images

It’s not official yet, but here are some early thoughts on the trade as it’s currently being presented:

Blue Jays acquire SS Jose Reyes, RHP Josh Johnson, LHP Mark Buehrle, INF-OF Emilio Bonifacio, C John Buck and $4 million from the Marlins for SS Yunel Escobar, RHP Henderson Alvarez, SS Adeiny Hechvarria, LHP Justin Nicolino, OF Jake Marisnick, RHP Anthony DeSclafani and C Jeff Mathis.

- Of course, there’s the obvious thought: the Marlins are a joke and owner Jeffrey Loria needs to be forced out of baseball. That still applies.

That said, strictly as a baseball trade, this seems like a pretty good value for them. Reyes and Buehrle really shouldn’t have any trade value at all; the Marlins were the high bidders for both last year and signed them to backloaded contracts. Any time you can sign a free agent to a long-term deal and then trade him a year later, without eating any salary (though the Marlins did eat $4 million here), you’re coming out ahead. The back half of free agent deals are almost always worse than the front half.

Working under that theory, the only two guys in the deal for the Marlins with significant trade value were Johnson, who is one year away from free agency, and Bonifacio, an arbitration-eligible speedster who is an adequate regular at a few positions but not really exceptional anywhere.

In return, the Marlins are getting a cheap No. 3 or 4 starter in Alvarez, a possible long-term shortstop in Hechevarria, two very good prospects who will both probably crack the bottom half of top 100 lists next spring in Nicolino and Marisnick, a possible bullpen arm in DeSclafani and whatever Escobar brings back in trade. That’s pretty good. Better still if catcher Travis d’Arnaud was in there, but that probably would have required eating more salary than the Marlins were willing to do.

If this were a computer simulation, one could make a great argument that the Marlins came out ahead here. Figuring that they weren’t going to contend in 2013 anyway, they might as well start over, tank next year and then try to load up again come 2014 or ’15.

However, this is no computer simulation. The Marlins just took a big ol’ crap on everyone who has supported them in recent years and ticked off their lone remaining star in Giancarlo Stanton. Also, it’s hard to imagine free agents will line up to sign with them, even if they do offer to overpay, after what happened to Reyes, Buehrle and Heath Bell. It’s going to take more than a year or two to recover from this.

- As for the Blue Jays, well, they obviously got a whole lot better. The rotation now lines up as Johnson, Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero and probably J.A. Happ. Kyle Drabek will return from Tommy John sometime next year, and the team still has some quality pitching prospects behind them.

The lineup could look like:

SS Reyes
2B Bonifacio
RF Jose Bautista
DH/1B Edwin Encarnacion
1B/DH Adam Lind/free agent
3B Brett Lawrie
CF Colby Rasmus
C J.P. Arencibia
LF Free agent/Rajai Davis

With the newly signed Maicer Izturis leading the bench. The Jays could also trade Arencibia for a Lind replacement or a left fielder and then let top prospect Travis d’Arnaud compete with Buck and Bobby Wilson for catching chores in spring training.

The Jays also have plenty of live arms in relief and Sergio Santos making his way back. There’s no doubt that this team should be a contender. Whether it will be will hinge on keeping the arms healthy, especially Johnson’s. That’s an area in which the Blue Jays have had a lot of difficulties.

As is, the Blue Jays look like pretty good bets to claim one of the AL’s five playoff berths next year and those improved odds come at the expense of the Orioles, Rays and Red Sox.

Latest Posts
  1. Pablo Sandoval says goodbye to the Giants and their fans on his Instagram account

    Nov 26, 2014, 10:04 PM EST

    sandoval getty Getty Images

    Here’s the farewell Instagram post from third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who signed a five-year, $98 million free agent contract with the Red Sox earlier this week …

  2. Royals acquire infielder Ryan Jackson from Dodgers

    Nov 26, 2014, 8:18 PM EST

    ryan jackson getty Getty Images

    Jackson was limited to 11 minor league games in 2014 due to a right wrist injury that ultimately required surgery.

  3. Padres, Dodgers have discussed a Matt Kemp trade

    Nov 26, 2014, 6:43 PM EST

    matt kemp getty Getty Images

    From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Padres have shown interest in trading for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp …

  4. Yasmany Tomas signs a six-year, $68.5 million deal with the Diamondbacks

    Nov 26, 2014, 5:10 PM EST

    yasmany tomas getty Getty Images

    The Dbacks were not in the picture until very recently. But better late than never.

  5. Thought experiment: How many MLB teams would wipe the slate clean?

    Nov 26, 2014, 4:25 PM EST

    CC Sabathia AP AP

    Since there’s no such thing as a stupid question …

  6. The Wrigley Field bleachers may not be ready for Opening Day

    Nov 26, 2014, 3:58 PM EST

    Wrigley Bleachers

    Don’t tell the people who like to hang out in the bleachers. They may not realize it, actually.

  7. Rays designate Sean Rodriguez for assignment

    Nov 26, 2014, 2:14 PM EST

    Sean Rodriguez AP AP

    Rodriguez was projected to make around $2 million via arbitration.

  8. Rays sign Ernesto Frieri to incentive-laden contract

    Nov 26, 2014, 1:40 PM EST

    Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

    An intriguing scrap-heap pickup for the Rays.

  9. Reds sign Brennan Boesch

    Nov 26, 2014, 1:15 PM EST

    New York Yankees v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

    This year he played at Triple-A for the Angels, hitting .332 with 25 homers and a 1.017 OPS in 95 games.

  10. Texas Rangers prospect involved in a fatal accident in the Dominican Republic

    Nov 26, 2014, 12:59 PM EST

    rangers logo

    Ronald Guzman is the Rangers’ 17th-ranked prospect.

  11. Chris Capuano is considering pitching in Japan

    Nov 26, 2014, 11:19 AM EST

    Chris Capuano Getty Getty Images

    Capuano is 36 years old, so finding a guaranteed big-league job for 2015 could be difficult.

  12. Korean team rejects winning MLB bid for Hyeon-jong Yang

    Nov 26, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

    hyeon-jong yang Getty Images

    Either the Rangers or the Twins had the winning bid.

  13. The Marlins are snooping around Chris Davis and Evan Gattis

    Nov 26, 2014, 9:44 AM EST

    chris davis getty Getty Images

    Need some dingers? I know a guy who can get you some dingers, man.

  14. No, the Red Sox signing Pablo and Hanley is not proof that baseball needs a salary cap

    Nov 26, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    Hanley Ramirez AP

    It’s like clockwork. A team signs a big free agent or two and someone argues that baseball is doomed without a salary cap. It’s always baloney, of course.

  15. Giants casting “wide net” that includes Max Scherzer

    Nov 25, 2014, 10:12 PM EST

    max scherzer getty Getty Images

    Max Scherzer, a client of Scott Boras, seems comfortable with slow-playing this market. We’ve seen loads of rumors and reports involving the other prominent free agent ace, Jon Lester, but it’s hard to identify which teams are in the running at the moment for Max. The Giants may be one …

  16. Lucas Harrell, Jim Adduci both sign contracts in Korea

    Nov 25, 2014, 8:47 PM EST

    kbo logo

    Via Jeeho Yoo of Seoul’s Yonhap News, right-hander Lucas Harrell and outfielder Jim Adduci both agreed to one-year deals Tuesday in the Korea Baseball Organization — Harrell with the KIA Tigers for $900K and Adduci with the Lotte Giants for $650K.

Featured video

Maddon has high hopes for Cubs
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. P. Sandoval (5310)
  2. Y. Tomas (4100)
  3. H. Ramirez (4060)
  4. J. Lester (3066)
  5. J. Upton (2213)
  1. J. Bruce (2113)
  2. M. Kemp (2078)
  3. C. Headley (2021)
  4. A. LaRoche (1985)
  5. Y. Cespedes (1893)