Raise your hand if you saw this one coming:
According to FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, the Toronto Blue Jays are on the verge of acquiring Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle from the Miami Marlins in one of the biggest trades in recent baseball history. Per the reports, the Marlins are expected to acquire Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, and left-handed pitching prospect Justin Nicolino, though Miami's entire haul has yet to be disclosed.
The jokes are flying all across Twitter as I write this, but basically, the Marlins dumped the two major free agents they signed last offseason (Buehrle and Reyes), another top starter (Johnson), and also are sending catcher John Buck and infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio to Toronto.
The dollar value of the contracts still owed to the players heading north is estimated to be about $165 million. (That's even more in Canadian dollars, since the Canadian loonie is now worth slightly more than $1 US.)
The Marlins are really awful in every way. What free agent would ever sign with them now? Why would fans bother to go to the fancy new stadium fleeced out of Miami taxpayers by Jeffrey Loria?
There are a couple of decent young players headed to Miami in this deal, notably Alvarez, Hechevarria and, as reported elsewhere, Jake Marisnick, who played at Low-A Lansing in 2012. But this is essentially blowing up the Marlins and starting over. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays should be well-positioned to contend in the AL East in 2012.
Thought you all would like to discuss this, so I put it on the front page.