Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins have completed a blockbuster trade that completely reshapes the roster and gets rid of some of the team’s best players and their high salaries.
According to CBSSports.com, the Marlins are set to trade pitchers Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, shortstop Jose Reyes, and catcher John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays.
ESPN’s Buster Olney said the summation of the deal is: “Just about everybody making money is going to Toronto.”
Olney continued on Twitter, “Proposed Marlins deal confirms all worst fears of MLB about the Miami strategy, and effectively crushes MIA market for MLB.”
In return, the Marlins will receive Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, and Justin Nicolino, according to CBSSports.com.
One key to the deal could be new Marlins manager Mike Redmond who spent the last few years in the Toronto farm system and should know the players the Blue Jays gave up well.
The deal still has to be finalized by Major League Baseball, but has been agreed to by both teams.
The trade is not sitting well with Marlins franchise player Giancarlo Stanton. He wrote on Twitter, “Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple.”
The Marlins have in the matter of weeks gotten rid of every major free agent signing from last year. The Marlins had previously traded closer Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Reyes was due $96 million over the next five years; Buehrle was set to get $52 million over the next three years; and Josh Johnson was set to make $13.75 million in 2013, the final year of his deal.
All total, including John Buck’s $6 million contract for 2013, the Marlins traded away on Tuesday.
The completion of the trade will be the final act of owner Jeffrey Loria getting a new stadium. The team sold itself as a completely new franchise in 2012 while opening the state-0f-the-art Marlins Park and spending more than a hundred million dollars on free agents.
The team also hired World Series winning manager Ozzie Guillen to take the team to the next level.
Yet roughly a year later, the Marlins have reverted to the same old team that baseball fans in Miami have come to loathe.
In 1997, the Marlins held a fire sale and traded away every good player the team had and then repeated the process again over the two years after winning the World Series in 2003.
This will be the third time the Marlins have blown up the team since 1997, but could be the one that stings fans the most.
The Marlins will likely be held up by future cities when teams are looking to get the most taxpayer money for a new stadium. Cities will want protections against ownership who could pull off a similar deal to what the Marlins executed on Tuesday.
The Marlins were ranked in the bottom three of Major League Baseball attendance from 2005-2011, it looks like the fan attendance could be heading in a similar direction next year based on early reaction across social media.