Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Shortstop Jose Reyes was the jewel of the Miami Marlins’ 2012 free agent haul, but Reyes has revealed a story about team owner Jeffrey Loria that shows the owner is either deceitful or makes important trades in quite a hurry.
According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, Reyes said two days before he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in the offeseason, he had dinner with Loria. At the dinner, Reyes said Loria told him to get a nice in Miami. Two days later, Reyes was shipped to Toronto as part of a multi-player deal.
Stark asked Reyes what he’d tell free agents about signing with the Marlins and the shortstop responded, “I don’t have to tell them nothing. They can see what happened.”
The Marlins burned pretty much any chances of signing a top flight free agent in the offseason with the salary dumping trade of Reyes and pitcher Mark Buehrle. Both had played just one season in Miami after signing multi-year contracts with the team before being traded.
Free agents, and their agents, no longer trust what the Marlins are telling them if the team is courting the player. That translates to Miami either having to significantly overpay for players, or not being considered by the best players.
The Marlins traded away the most talented players on the roster, with the exception of right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, for prospects who may or may not even play in the majors.
In addition, Stanton’s name has been floated in possible trade scenarios as well. Stanton is close to arbitration eligible and the Marlins have a history of not wanting to pay players their market-value, which could have Stanton on his way out of town in a year or two.
The team is expected to finish in last place again in 2013, which would be the third year in a row. Team officials are expecting revenue to drop as well as fans avoid going to see a losing team at the taxpayer-funded Marlins Park.