While many baseball fans were tuning in to see who won each league’s manager of the year awards on Tuesday night, the Miami Marlins pulled off one of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent memory.
According to FoxSports.com, the Marlins are close to sending Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays. That’s three starting position players and their two best pitchers, all in a salary dump that virtually erases all the money they spent last offseason in preparation for their new stadium.
Heading to Miami in return are shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechevarria, pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, and Justin Nicolino, outfielder Marisnick, and catcher Jeff Mathis.
The Marlins make this trade in a clear attempt to shed a massive amount of salary, upwards of $90 million according to FoxSports.com. They already traded closer Heath Bell to the Diamondbacks in late October and seem resigned to not be competitive in 2013.
Before the trade deadline in 2012 they got rid of Hanley Ramirez in a trade with the Dodgers and sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers. Those deals were apparently just the beginning of their overhaul.
All the moves combined change the entire dynamic of the Marlins and their status in the National League East. Next season they will still have Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison, but surrounding them will likely be a group of young players and prospects.
Stanton himself expressed frustration on Twitter after news of the trade broke:
Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple— Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo818) November 13, 2012
With their superstar young player mad enough to tweet his disapproval, naturally people started responding saying he should come join their team. One of those people was Bryce Harper.
@giancarlo818 you can always come play for the Nats! We will take you anytime! Get some red, white, and blue in your life!— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) November 14, 2012
Unfortunately for Stanton, it appears the Marlins aren’t looking to trade him, at least according to some reports. And the Nationals aren’t likely to trade for Stanton, although seeing the deal the Marlins just pulled off it's likely most general managers have inquired.
Either way the Marlins’ trade on Tuesday night essentially eliminates them from the conversation for several years. The N.L. East is now no more than a four team race, at least for the foreseeable future.