Skip to content

Breaking down the huge Toronto-Miami trade

Nov 13, 2012, 8:16 PM EDT

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. Mariners fire general manager Jack Zduriencik

    Aug 28, 2015, 11:42 AM EDT

    jack zduriencik getty Getty Images

    Overall the Mariners went 505-595 (.459) with Zduriencik as GM.

  2. Hacking scandal fallout: Cardinals hire former reliever Randy Flores as new scouting director

    Aug 28, 2015, 11:27 AM EDT

    Randy Flores Cardinals AP

    Two months ago, in the wake of the Astros database hacking scandal, the Cardinals fired scouting director Chris Correa.

  3. Pedro Martinez wonders if bad chemistry is the reason the Tigers and Mariners are out of contention

    Aug 28, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox Getty Images

    Pedro Martinez is one of the smartest baseball players in living memory, but he’s sniffing up the wrong tree here.

  4. Max Scherzer gave his catchers Hublot watches for catching his no-hitter and one-hitter

    Aug 28, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    150614_MaxScherzer Getty Images

    I hate to use the word “classy” because its so overused in sports. But this is classy.

  5. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 28, 2015, 8:02 AM EDT

    Zack Greinke Getty Images

    Zack Greinke is doing things guys have not done since the Dead Ball era. And I do not mean making scary faces like that.

  6. Michael Taylor leaves game after crashing into outfield fence

    Aug 27, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: Michael Taylor #3 of the Washington Nationals looks on before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on June 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 2-1 in the 11th inning. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Getty Images

    After losing Yunel Escobar on a hit-by-pitch, Michael Taylor left tonight’s game against the Padres when he crashed into the outfield fence.

  7. Yunel Escobar exits game after being hit in the hand by a pitch

    Aug 27, 2015, 9:27 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03:  Yunel Escobar #5 of the Washington Nationals reacts after striking out to end the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park on August 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) Getty Images

    So, that thing about the Nationals’ projected Opening Day lineup finally being in place?

  8. Miguel Sano robbed of home run by catwalk at Tropicana Field

    Aug 27, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, left, and teammate Logan Forsythe look up to see the ring of the dome at Tropicana Field that Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano, right, hit with his RBI ground-rule double during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) AP

    Twins rookie slugger Miguel Sano hit another mammoth blast tonight against the Rays. The only problem is that the catwalk at Tropicana Field got in the way.

  9. Adam Jones leaves game after colliding with outfield fence; hopes to be in lineup Friday

    Aug 27, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) chases a fly ball hit by Kansas City Royals' Ben Zobrist during the first inning a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Jones was injured on the play but stayed in the game and Zobrist doubled. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) AP

    Jones was forced to exit Thursday’s game after colliding with the center field fence.

  10. Cubs acquire Fernando Rodney from the Mariners

    Aug 27, 2015, 7:13 PM EDT

    Fernando Rodney Getty Images

    After being designated for assignment by the Mariners over the weekend, Rodney will be reunited with Joe Maddon in Chicago.

  11. Video: Madison Bumgarner makes a nifty play at first base

    Aug 27, 2015, 7:05 PM EDT

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 16:  Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants is high-fived by teammates as he walks back into the dugout before their game against the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park on August 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Bumgarner also had a heck of a day on the mound.

  12. Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case against MLB

    Aug 27, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 10:  Former Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds talks to Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants during batting practice before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at AT&T Park on July 10, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  The San Francisco Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 15-2. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Bonds filed a grievance on the grounds that he was blackballed from the game following the 2007 season.

  13. Video: Enrique Hernandez nearly swings out of his shoes against Aroldis Chapman

    Aug 27, 2015, 6:04 PM EDT

    CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 26: Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers singles to right to drive in a run in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 26, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Dodgers utility man Enrique Hernandez did his best to catch up to the heat from Reds closer Aroldis Chapman this afternoon.

  14. Jose Fernandez could return to Marlins within two weeks after “wow” bullpen session

    Aug 27, 2015, 5:34 PM EDT

    Jose Fernandez AP

    Fernandez missed much of the season recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery.

  15. Jessica Mendoza to sit in for Curt Schilling on Sunday Night Baseball this week

    Aug 27, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT

    Jessica Mendoza Getty Images

    Its not often we have reason to cheer the decisions ESPN makes but today we do.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (3001)
  2. J. Fernandez (2438)
  3. Y. Cespedes (2371)
  4. G. Stanton (2278)
  5. D. Span (2098)
  1. Y. Puig (2014)
  2. F. Rodney (1981)
  3. M. Teixeira (1959)
  4. G. Springer (1922)
  5. H. Olivera (1901)