There are reports flying around that the Florida Marlins have agreed to a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays that would send Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck north of the border. That's basically everything left of anything value except for Giancarlo Stanton and the home run sculpture in center field.
I'm seeing Yunel Excobar, Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, Anthony DeSclafani, Jeff Mathis, and Adeiny Hechavarria as the return. There are two or three very solid prospects, but the team will be dramatically worse in the short term and there's a good chance those players never provide the same performance the Marlins would have gotten from the players they sent away. Of course, whatever production they do provide will come at a far cheaper price than Reyes and the others, but the Marlins aren't a team that should be in that sort of cost cutting position, not having just opened a new stadium that was built with over $400 million in public money and with TV revenues rising dramatically. Since the new stadium opened, the team has traded away over $90 million worth of 2012 salary and is now committed to less than $25 million in payroll for 2013.
That's some shameful ****.
This is little more than a salary dump by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, a pretty scummy guy who was largely responsible for the Expos leaving Montreal (I guess maybe he's trying to pay Canada back now). Miami's young star, Giancarlo Stanton has already expressed displeasure about the deal, and while there may not be much he can do about it, I wouldn't be surprised to see him try to work his way to another team. Certainly he won't be signing a long term deal and it's hard to see why other free agents would either. Players like Reyes are drawn in part to the lack of state income tax in Florida, but he'll sure be paying taxes on his money now!
The Indians don't run with the kind of payroll I know we'd like to see, and I'm aware there are many who feel the Dolans could be kicking in more than they have, but this sort of thing is on a whole other level. The fact that Loria is allowed to operate a team in this fashion is a black mark against baseball and particularly against Loria's pal, Bud Selig.
I have no idea what sort of avenues are available for anyone to file any sort of formal complaint, but I hope something is done to remove Loria from the equation permanently. Just as scholarship athletes are given an out if their school is put on some sort of serious probation, poor Giancarlo Stanton should be allowed to leave the team (come to Cleveland!).
I have no love for the Marlins and I'm hard pressed to believe they have many serious fans, but this puts a bad taste in my mouth.