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Bud Selig approves Marlins-Blue Jays blockbuster citing “plausible baseball judgment”

Nov 19, 2012, 3:20 PM EDT

Bud Selig Getty Images

Commissioner Bud Selig has signed off on the blockbuster Marlins-Blue Jays trade one week after Miami agreed to send Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio to Toronto for Adeiny Hechavarria, Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, and Anthony Desclafani.

There was some speculation that Selig might reject the deal, but there was never much precedent for that–at least not during Selig’s tenure as commissioner–and dragging it out as long as he did perhaps represents the most he would realistically do to display his unhappiness with the Marlins’ latest firesale.

In approving the trade Selig stressed that he “carefully reviewed the proposed transaction” with the help of many veteran baseball officials and cited “plausible baseball judgment on the part of both clubs.”

And then he seemingly took a little jab at the Marlins, saying: “It is, of course, up to the clubs involved to make the case to their respective fans that this transaction makes sense and enhances the competitive position of each, now or in the future.”

Yeah, good luck with that. Here’s the last part of Selig’s lengthy statement:

I am sensitive to the concerns of the fans of Miami regarding this trade, and I understand the reactions I have heard since Tuesday. Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities and I fully understand that the Miami community has done its part to put the Marlins into a position to succeed with beautiful new Marlins Park.  Going forward, I will continue to monitor this situation with the expectation that the Marlins will take into account the sentiments of their fans, who deserve the best efforts and considered judgment of their club.  I have received assurances from the ownership of the Marlins that they share these beliefs and are fully committed to build a long-term winning team that their fans can be proud of.

On a related note, “plausible baseball judgment” is a phrase we should all make sure to use constantly for the rest of our lives.

  1. skeleteeth - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM


  2. paint771 - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    It. Is. Official.

    One way or the other, this is going to be one hell of an exciting year to be a Jays fan.

    • cur68 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Ayup. We can call this Anthopolous’s revenge. He gets to bone Jeff Loria a bit for the whole Expo thing. Meanwhile he builds his club at a time when the other teams in the division are in a bit of a bind to build theirs. Still gotta play the games, though. So lets not be crowning they asses just yet, mmkay? The Beav still have to name a manager and find another arm for the rotation. Counting on Drabek & Hutchison to bounce right back from TJS seems risky to me. Making the on-field product work is going to be the next big challenge.

      • indaburg - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        “Still gotta play the games, though. So lets not be crowning they asses just yet, mmkay.”

        And don’t you forget it.

      • paint771 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        Hell man, I’m almost as excited for the AA press conference as anything else.

      • cur68 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        I hear ya. Games can’t start soon enough to suit me.

  3. dumbasdirt - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Plausible baseball judgement? Huh? The Marlins organization is like a blender….But you have no top for it

    • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Gold star for that one. Hold out your notebook.

    • 4d3fect - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      G. Carlin could add “plausible baseball judgement” to “jumbo shrimp” &”military intelligence” on his long list of oxymorons

      –if only he were still alive.

  4. proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    The Toronto Star reported this afternoon that the Jays were about to make a big announcement. They speculated that it would be either a confirmation of the trade or finalization of the Melky signing or perhaps the new manager. It was too much to expect a trifecta of all 3 events.

    On the manager story, the Star did say that sources indicated that Mike Hargrove has not been contacted by the Jays but would be interested in the job. They also reported that Cleveland sources have tried to phone and email Acta with no success.

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      I’m interested in the job as well but the Jays have not yet contacted me for the position. Doing my part to keep the rumor mill going….

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        You would be a breath of fresh air. You are also bilingual. Go for it.

    • mydadyourmom - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      I hope it’s Wakamatsu.

  5. chill1184 - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    If anyone actually though that Bud was actually going to do anything about this I got a bridge to sell you. With that being said its now time to speculate what will Loria ask for Stanton

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      I think that the Mets are offering the Brooklyn Bridge for Stanton.

      • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:22 PM

        Another leveraged deal?

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:29 AM

        Highly leveraged! A Wall Street special.

  6. BigBeachBall - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    I blame lebron

  7. marlinman15 - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    “Plausible baseball Judgement” sir let me remind you who it is you are dealing with in Jeffery Loria in his mind it is plausible judgement to punch small orphan children in the face for 10 bucks a pop.He has no rational function, anything is plausible in Jeffery Loria’s mind as long as it doesn’t cost too much, of course.

    • JustMeMike - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      Cost too much?

      Didn’t Loria send along 8 Million dollars to the Jays to help them with their financial burden.
      I wish Loria would finish what he started and send along $3 million to some club to help them take Mike Stanton off his hands.

  8. tcostant - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Now back to the business of getting the Nationals a bigger of MASN (either more $$$ or higher ownership %).

    • rockthered1286 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Unless you plan on offing Uncle Pete…good luck.

  9. uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    I guess that clause that Selig likes to use when it suits his purpose “in the best interest of baseball” only applies when it doesn’t effect his friends.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      He let his buddy John Henry dump 3 highly paid players, so it would be difficult to prevent Loria from trading 3 highly paid players.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        If you notice I said his (Selig’s) friends. I don’t agree with you about why it would have been difficult for Selig to deny the trade. He rules MLB with an iron fist when he wants to, often making up he own rules as he goes along.
        Listen, I don’t blame the Blue Jays for making the trade but what Loria has done here is such a slap in the face to their fans and MLB in general it’s laughable, and Selig does/did nothing.

      • jm91rs - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:12 PM

        Selig could do nothing. Everyone agrees that the Marlins did ok as far as getting talent back. We all know once that talent becomes valuable it will be traded away, but unfortunately it isn’t as one sided as it feels.

        Comparing it to the red sox salary dump this year is interesting. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it really is similar on paper. The difference is that we all know the RedSox are going to use the money they saved to rebuild and retool. Loria will use his saved money to pad his bank account.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        He rules MLB with an iron fist when he wants to, often making up he own rules as he goes along.

        I’m curious, has Selig ever shot a trade down before? The only one I know that didn’t go through was Arod to the Sox, but I thought the MLBPA stopped that?

      • uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        jm91rs, the 2 situations are not as alike as you may think. The Red Sox moved Beckett who has been injury prone and was having a terrible, terrible year. Crawford was well a complete was of $142,000,000 over the 2 years he was a Red Sox missing enormous amounts of time and not really being productive the few times he was in the line up and Gonzalez was under performing. His offensive numbers this past year were nowhere near what the Red Sox signed up for when they agreed to a 7 year/$154MM contract. So in my humble opinion the 2 situations are not very similar. Loria dumped productive players and Henry dumped problem players.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        Correction: Crawford was a complete “waste”….

    • dan1111 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      I, for one, am glad he didn’t block it. Meddling from the commissioner’s office is not a wise thing to with for in the long run.

      • dan1111 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        wish, that is.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:50 PM

        Particularly when that Commissioner is Selig.

  10. Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    I was going to open this post with “Even Selig can’t possibly be that stupid.”

    Then I thought about it a little more.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      I think he just recycled the Kennedy era plausible deniability policy…because this trade is about as popular as the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

      • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:24 PM

        More like he recycled Ron Ziegler’s “inoperative,” as in “all of the Commissioner’s prior statements about ‘the best interests of baseball’ are now inoperative.”

  11. proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    By the way, I read that $8 million is actually going to the Jays as part of this trade. If so, Loria will be paying for the first year of Melky’s contract.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      I read it was $4MM, but really who cares the money is a non factor.

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        The original report was $4 million, but today, I read $8 million.

      • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM

        I think the $4mm went to one of the other teams, Tigers or D-Backs, didn’t it? I’ll check in the morning.

  12. 18thstreet - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Love this line:

    I love how Bud defends Marlins trade as “plausible baseball judgment.” That’s been the Royals slogan since 1995.— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) November 19, 2012

  13. jaysjunkie - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    One full week? What a complete joke. Is Bud the only one working at the head office?

    • 4d3fect - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:21 PM


      –yeah, right.

  14. yankeepunk3000 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    why did you rob the Florida bank sir…well I used plausible baseball judgement and it seemed like a good idea at the time

    • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      Sean Connery in The Great Train Robbery: “I wanted the money.”

  15. wj4122 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Loria just fooled ol bud again and he is laughing about it.

    • hk62 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      hmmm, you want incredibly rich owners so that real baseball economics don’t have to be the controlling factor for payroll; but you want the commissioner to be able to control how they move assests? Loria fooled Bud? I’m missing it. The fact that he said he would “monitor” and that he even made a formal statement was him telling Loria he walk the line and Bud never talks to owners like that (ex-owner McCourt excepted). Bud didn’t get fooled and the Commissioners office can directly effect the movement of money that comes into the MLB before it goes back out to the lower revenue clubs – not that he can say that stuff in a public statement. Totalling missing your point wj.

  16. charlutes - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Dear Jays haters, suck it. Go Jays!

    • cur68 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      Dude, chill. Our boys haven’t even hit a pitch in anger yet and you already inviting people to “suck it”? What for? Lets play a few games first, what say? Then, when the inevitable troll turns up and starts in on us for hiring Melky, employing Reyes at a redic rate and so on THEN lets tell ’em to suck it. Meantime, theirs no need for a ‘cepts level throw down when no one’s even on our bag yet.

    • SOBEIT - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      What’s to hate about the Jays…they have been lovable doormats for so long. Now the fans…well they are already getting annoying.

      • cur68 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:24 PM

        Some of them certainly are. Feel free to poke this fool whenever you like. He won’t get any help from me.

    • Tick - Nov 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      When Reyes and Johnson are hurt, Buehrle has a losing record and an ERA near 5, your payroll is too bloated to make a move and the Jays are in third or fourth place in the East, then YOU sir, will be the one to suck it.

  17. moose2k - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Hate the Jays? First time you’ve come close to being relevant since the early 1990’s.

  18. charlutes - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    @cur68…LETS GO BLUE JAYS!

    don’t like it? I politely invite you to suck it.

    • cur68 - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      *deep sigh*

      Canada has trolls, too. How wonderful.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        Ooh, ooh, beaver fight!

      • cur68 - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        Somehow I always though a “beaver fight” would be so much more classy, action packed, and less testosterone that what we got going here. This is pretty much a disappointment.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:08 PM

        It is mighty polite for a throw-down.

      • cur68 - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:17 PM

        You wait for baseball season. If he keeps on like this it isn’t going to be just me he’ll have words with. And plenty of people ’round the blogsphere’s comment section are versed in impolite.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:27 PM

        Oh, I’m familiar. I’ve gotten called several things on here. The things you do for baseball.

  19. SOBEIT - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Don’t get too excited Jays fans…you still gotta actually win games. The Marlins thought they had it all wrapped up with their signings and then kaboom…Losses galore. But on paper, it does look promising. Let’s see what the others in the division do as well…the impressions could shift just a quickly.

  20. thesmedman - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Of, for Bowie Kuhn.

  21. jjpileggi - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    If you go back and look at the litany of Selig press releases and statements over the past 20 years, they all have a great many “I’s” in them. Think of how he got the job; Selig organized an owner revolt that took down Fay Vincent (no great administrator of baseball himself) when Vincent had a “no fire” contract. To round up the votes, he cut a deal with George Steinbrenner that his “lifetime” suspension would be reduced, and some think he promised the owners of the Twins that he would pay back millions in loans he had taken from them. While sitting as commissioner, he convinced Milwaukee to build him a new stadium, and then proceeded to sell the team, profiting nicely from public funds. So, the great game of baseball has been very, very good to Mr. Selig, and there is no way he would tempt the fates by stopping Jeff Luria from the same behavior that made this former car salesman very, very wealthy. Can you picture Luria playing tit for tat if Selig invoked “the best interests if baseball” clause and said “hold on Jeff, the citizens of Florida gave you a great gift in exchange for a promise to field a competitive team.” I can hear Luria saying, “yeah, Bud, how about that tiny payroll you were maintaining until you got YOUR stadium. And then you SOLD the team”.

    It’s a free market, and Luria can do what he wants, but Selig’s “I am the Pope of baseball and baseball is me” just rings very, very hollow. Can’t baseball hire Mitt Romney?

  22. 49ersgiants4life - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I think Loria tried to get fans to come to the new stadium with all of the signings last year and when they didn’t he realized he wasn’t gonna make any money I mean if nobody goes to Marlins games he will just lose money so if I was a marlins fan I just wouldn’t go

    • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      The big dropoff in attendance occurred after the first round of hackings at the end of July. They were on a pace to make a run at three million up until roughly mid-July, when it became clear that the team was falling out of contention.

  23. uscthom78 - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I was expecting bud to declare the marlins ineligible for revenue sharing dollars…..

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