Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Last night's blockbuster deal that swept away almost all of the high-salaried players from Miami to Toronto has the sports world buzzing. And it has Marlins fans despondent.
As you know by now, last night, the Marlins traded everything to the Blue Jays (everything being Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio). That comes on the heels of already having dumped Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and Heath Bell in the last few months. The reactions have been strong and swift ...
- Dave Cameron at FanGraphs says it almost precisely as I would: "A year ago, the Marlins signed a bunch of free agents to long term contracts that were backloaded in salary and didn't include no-trade clauses. At the time of the deals, many skeptics suggested the organization's past history and the structure of these deals meant the entire spending spree was a mirage designed to fool the city of Miami into thinking they actually bought a competitive team with their new $500 million stadium. That once the rubber hit the road, the Marlins would just trade all these expensive players away and go back to putting a low payroll team on the field to accomplish their real goal: raking in cash while exploiting the flaws in the revenue sharing agreements for the owner's own personal gain. Tonight, the Marlins completed a trade with the Blue Jays that vindicates every single person who said or wrote such a thing last year."
- Ken Rosenthal says the time has come for Jeffrey Loria, the owner of the Marlins, to sell. He also questions, given the amount of money the Blue Jays are taking on, whether this is really a good deal for the Blue Jays after all. Looking more closely at it, I do wonder - the Blue Jays gave up a bundle of prospects, essentially, for one year of Johnson and the right to pay Buehrle and Reyes the most expensive years of their contracts (it's not like either of those two increased their value in the year since they signed as free agents (when they were available to everyone for just cash)), since those deals were massively backloaded. If you're a Blue Jays fan, you better hope they win in the next couple years.
- Craig Calcaterra catalogs the many sins of Loria, which, individually, could be explained away, but, in the aggregate, paint a very ugly picture.
- Matthew Pouliot says it's time for Bud Selig to force Loria out of MLB. Given that it's now hard to imagine Loria not banking his revenue sharing money (for the third time) rather than spending it on his organization, I can't say I disagree.
- The fan reaction among the few Marlins fans who remained after an already ugly 2012 season has been, unsurprisingly, strongly negative. The money quotes, from Fish Stripes: "And with that, the trust of the fan base, which was already beginning to be skeptical in the latter stages of 2012 as the team fielded a series of scrubs at various positions, has been completely shattered." It's hard not to feel bad for those fans.
- The player reaction was mostly surprise and confusion on the Marlin side, and excitement on the Blue Jay side (from the players remaining with each organization, that is). Giancarlo Stanton probably said it best: "Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple."
- Grant Brisbee points out another layer of the damage done by Loria, because the fire sale comes just after the taxpayers of Miami funded a new ballpark for the Marlins: "This screws with the Rays and their attempts to build enthusiasm for a new stadium, and it screws with the A's and their efforts. It screws with everything."
- The Manager of the Year awards were handed out last night - to very little fanfare, thanks in large part to the Blue Jays and Marlins - to Bob Melvin of the A's and Davey Johnson of the Nationals.