Dissecting The Blockbuster Trade Between The Blue Jays And The Marlins

Wednesday, November.14/2012

Jose Reyes is a .291 Career Hitter and has averaged 55 Steals and 110 Runs Per 162 Games Played. He should have no problem scoring runs with Encarnacion and Joey Bats hitting in the middle of the lineup for Toronto.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I think you can safely say that the off-season has truly begun!  I was writing on my computer yesterday when the big trade blew up on twitter.  I live in White Rock, British Colombia, Canada,  so you can only imagine how excited the whole country of Canada was to talk about baseball on the big media Social Website.  Within minutes, it was clear that the Marlins and Jays were talking about a huge deal.  There is a remarkable quality that I have admired about Alex Anthopoulos for a few years now.  That his organization is pretty tight-lipped about their negotiations with any MLB team, just as it was with the Marlins on Tuesday.  I waited a few minutes and then…..WHAM!  A Blockbuster trade came right down the PIKE!  Here is the trade in case you have been living under a rock for the past 24 hours.

To visit the 2013 Updated Version of the Toronto Blue Jays 2013 Payroll Blog I did click here

To the Blue Jays 2012 Stats:

SS/2B Jose Reyes  .287  11 HRs 57 RBI, 86 Runs, 40 SB

SP Josh Johnson  8-14  3.81 ERA  191.1 IP 165 SO

C John Buck .192  12 HRs 41 RBI

2B/ss/3B/ Emilio Bonifacio  .258  1 HR 11 RBI, 30 Runs, 25 SB in 244 AB

SP Mark Buehrle  13-13  3.74 ERA  202. IP (12th straight year of 200 IP+)

4 Million Dollars Cash

To the Marlins:

SS Yunel Escobar  .253  9 HRs 51 RBI

2B/SS Adeiny Hechavarria  .254  2 HRs 10 RBI, 126 AB

C Jeff Mathis .218 8 HRs 27 RBI, 211 AB

SP Henderson Alvarez  9-14  4.85 ERA  187.2 IP

Also Prospects:

SP Justin Nicolino:

RP: Anthony DeSclafini:

OF: Jake Marisnick

Mark Buerhle has a Career Record of 174-132 (.569) with a lifetime ERA of 3.83 in 13 years in the Major Leagues. Since 2001, he is the only pitcher to have registered at least 10 wins or more in 12 straight years.

Trade Analysis:

Oh where to begin.  I want to talk about the Blue Jays side.  This is a brilliant, yet calculated risk by Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.  He saw the time to strike in the AL East is right now when the Yankees are aging, the Red Sox are in the middle of a rebuilding process, plus the Orioles and Rays are coming off really good seasons where everyone had career years and will they will be in tough to duplicate them in 2013.  Anthopoulos had to trade away a lot of the future to take a run at will probably be the next 3 years.  Why?  You have Jose Bautista and Encarnacion at around 22 Million Dollars a Year Combined for that time span.   When you also factor in that your top 2 starters of Brendan Morrow and Ricky Romero are also both locked in under contract until 2015 at an additional 16 Million Dollars per year before they both hit Free Agency, then it shows you your window of controllable salaries for your best players runs out by about 2015.  Lets not forget that Colby Rasmus is also controllable until at least 2014, and that Brett Lawrie is not even eligible for Arbitration until 2015 either.  The truth is that the Jays could not wait for all of their prospects to come around by then and were perfect assets to string together as trade bait.

Having said this, this didn’t even have to part with OF Anthony Gose,  C J.P Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud. This trade does not come without some serious cash and health risks.  Josh Johnson has spent the better part of the last six years fighting various injuries, including Tommy John Surgery in 2007.  Josh Johnson also only pitched in 9 games in the 2011 Season.  I will get to the individuals each for their own paragraph to explain the pro’s and con’s.  Jose Reyes did play a full season with the Marlins in 2012, by playing 160 Games, however he missed almost 200 games from the years of 2009-2011.  Emilio Bonifacio has also missed almost 200 games in the last 3 years.  Then you have John Buck, who only hit .192 last year despite making 6 Million Dollars.  Mark Buerhle is also to be paid 48 Million Dollars over the next 3 seasons of the contract he signed with the Miami Franchise prior to 2012 year.

So the total payroll commitments works like this in the future years.  In 2013, The Jays will be on the hook for Johnson (13.75 MIL), Buerhle (11.0 MIL), Reyes (10.0 MIL), Buck (6.0 MIL) and Bonifacio is Arbitration Eligible and will likely receive about his 2.2 Million Dollar 2012 Contact.  This is about 43 Million Dollars Committed.  Going back was: Yunel Escobar (5.0 MIL), Adeiny Hechavarria (2.75 MIL), Jeff Mathis (1.9 MIL) and the four others will rack in about another 2 MIL.  The Marlins will also kick in 4 Million to the Jays for the 2013 year.  So far this year the net difference is about 28 Million more added to the payroll for the Blue Jays after the trade.

The key is whether the Jays will try to sign Josh Johnson and John Buck when they become Free Agents in 2014.  The Jays see the 2014 year cost 16.0 MIL for Reyes and 18.0 MIL for Buerhle alone.  Bonifaco will also be Arbitration Eligible yet again unless he signs a multi-year contact this offseason to avoid Arbitration.  Without bringing back Johnson or Buck, 2013 will see the payroll take on approx 37 MIL for just the those 3.  2015 the $ become even greater, where Reyes starts 3 straight years at 22.0 MIL per year until 2017 and Buerhle makes 19.0 MIL in the final year of his contract.  This probably makes these 3 cost in the neighborhood of 45.0 MIL for 2015.  Oh yeah, it will also cost the Jays either 22.0 Million for a team option on Reyes in 2018-or a 4 MIL dollar buyout.  So 28.0 (13) +43.0 (14) +45.0 (15)  +22.0 (16) +22.0 (17) and another minimum of 4.0 for the buyout (18) is 174 Million Dollars of guaranteed contracts in the next 5 years and up to 192 Million if Reyes is brought back for 2018.  Hechavarria, Escobar, Mathis, Alvarez  and prospects will make a maximum of around 12-14 Million for the next 3 years combined to equal about 36-42 Million bucks.

You can see there is a serious financial and monetary commitment on behalf of the Blue Jays.  I do love the new look of a the Jays Depth Chart with these players added though.  Your Starting Pitching staff looks like this for 2013:   #1 Johnson, #2 Morrow, #3 Buerhle, #4 Romero and #5 J.A. Happ.  You also have Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison that may see some action coming back off of TJ Surgery.  You still have Brett Cecil for injury depth.  The Starting Lineup might look like this:  1. Reyes SS 2. Bonifacio 2B 3. Bautista RF 4. Encarnacion 5. Lawrie 3B 6. Rasmus CF 7. Arencibia or Buck C 8. Lind DH and  9. Gose or Davis LF.  If Lind heats up, he could switch with Lawrie for more power in the lineup.

At first glance of this trade, everyone will rip the Marlins organization to pieces.  I only have a problem with them trading all of the Free Agents that they signed before the 2012 season.  I actually think that this deal may turn out to be okay.  If Escobar and Hechavarria work out, then you have an all Cuban middle of the infield for the foreseeable future.  There was no way they could have re-signed Josh Johnson after this year anyway.  He was not his dominant self in 2012 and it would be a risk for the franchise to risk big FA dollars on him.  John Buck did not earn his salary in 2012 and Bonifacio is replaceable.  If you really think about this for a minute, all of the FA signings in 2012 have netted them several prospects for future years.  The team has some young talent to look forward to. 

To say Giancarlo Stanton was a little upset after the big trade yesterday would be the ‘Understatement of the Year.’ I wonder how much more he would be frustrated if the club also decides to trade away Ricky Nolasco next.

Here is the problem.  You have pissed off your franchise player in Giancarlo Stanton and also ticked off your tepid fan base.  They were both promised a competitive team heading into the formative years of New Marlins Ball Park, and now the club is going to spend as much money on payroll in 2013 as 1 Free Agent may sign for like Josh Hamilton.  Had the club pulled off this trade and then re-invested in some different Free Agents that may be younger, or of a slightly less tier than Reyes and Johnson, I could see that game plan.  Not to mention, a player will look for every other club in Free Agency before they try the Marlins in the future.  Good luck on trying to recruit Free Agents now that everyone thinks they will be re-traded if the team doesn’t come out of the blocks like gangbusters the next season.  Not even MIA giving a guy a NO-Trade’ clause will work because of their track record of blowing the franchise via trades from their own talent stock.  To further kill your franchise’s momentum, no talented Managers will ever work for Jeffrey Loria again based on his dealings with skippers over the last decade.  The Marlins are alienating every facet of running a successful franchise.  They best hope that all of the young players they have traded for in 2012 work out in the subsequent years ahead.

My prediction is that this team will NEVER compete again as long as Loria is the owner!  If he sells the club, that is the only way to restore any credibility with the city of Miami.  Even then, the fans would be ultra-tentative for a new owner as well.  It is a shame that Loria is allowed to run this club like this.  The fact he could carry a Team Payroll of 20 Million Dollars is a JOKE!.  The League’s Front Office needs to address this issue as much as they need to find a new system that penalizes the high-salaried culprits like the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox and Phillies.  The winner of this trade is the Blue Jays because they have restored faith in their fan-base.  The ownership has finally moved to the upper tier of the Big Salary Teams.  This was a move they should have done a long time ago, but at least is better late than never.  It is now time for the Blue Jays fans to come back in droves to the SKYDOME and support this team, so that the ownership doesn’t lose money in the process of trying to be competitive.

New Blue Jays Players Tidbits:

Jose Reyes:  Reyes is only 29 if you can believe it.  He is going to thrive in the Toronto lineup if he can stay healthy.  I see a high average, plenty of runs after table setting for Bautista, Encarnacion  and Lawrie.  I think you can also DH him the odd time and throw Bonifacio or Izturis in for defense at shortstop.

Josh Johnson If I were the Jays, I watch this guy closely for the 1st 3 months of the season.  If he pitches well, I would consider offering him a Multi-Year Contract.  After all, he hid start 31 games in 2012.  At age 29, he should still have some years left in his arm.  When he is on, the guy is a top 10 Pitcher in the MLB.  He was SO worth the risk, even if it doesn’t pan out in 2013 and beyond.

Emilio Bonifacio struggled through injuries in 2012, yet still stole 25 bases in only 244 AB. The team will need him to try to repeat his 2011 numbers where he was a .296 hitter with a OBP of .363. If he can’t stay healthy for the Jays, the trade will not look so favorable.

Emilio Bonifacio:  I like his speed with that lineup.  The Jays really should play Davis in LF and take advantage of Reyes, Bonifacio and Davis combining for about 130 steals next year.  It will be a team strength.  If he struggles or is injury prone, you always have Izturis as insurance.

Mark Buerhle:  The 4 Million kickback was specifically for Buerhle.  At 33 and almost having logged 2700 Career Innings, he knows how to pitch even if he has lost some arm strength.  If the Jays wanted to sign him on the Open FA Market, would they pay 3 YRS/44 Million.  I would say yes.  The man has won 13 Games 4 years straight.  In a division with serious Left Handed hitters to face, having a second Left Handed Starter in the Starting Rotation to protect Romero is invaluable.

John Buck:  He is only signed for one year and 6 Million Dollars more. I like it because J.P Arencibia seems to get hurt every so often.  He was an ALL-Star with the Jays in 2010 and parlayed it into the contract he has right now.


In his first 4 years with the Atlanta Braves, Escobar hit .291 for his AVG and carried an OPS of .778. He did not fare as well with Toronto the last 3 years, hitting .273 and bringing up an OPS of .708. He has a chance to play for a long-time with Hechavarria in Miami as a double play tandem.

The Marlins started the fire-sale of the best players starting with Hanley Ramirez this summer.  It could not have gone any worse for the Florida franchise in their new Ball Park during the 2012 year.  Half way through the season they were still competitive before they lost Giancarlo Stanton to an injury and the club fell off the planet afterwards.  Trades were made and that precipitated a full-scale sale of the veteran club this off-year.  They still have 1B/OF Logan Morrison-who they should definitely move to first base because there is no way they will sign any Free Agents for the position.  I guess they could play Greg Dobbs everyday at 3rd, or try to switch Chris Coghlan in there, but that is a long shot considering he only hit .140 in limited duty for 2012.  Justin Ruggiano will be counted on to play an OF position after his .313 Avg during 2012 in 288 AB.  Donovan Solano will probably be given a chance to win the other OF spot beside Giancarlo Stanton. Towing the hill will be: Ricky Nolasco, (as of now) Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, Jacob Turner and a cast of others I am sure.  I will be sure to update this club and their payroll by about April, when it will have changed a great deal again.  New skipper Mike Redmond certainly has his work cut out for him!

Marlins Players:

Yunel Escobar SS:  Yunel’s career has been hampered with off field and on field incidents.  As a .283 Career Hitter, with a OBP of .353, he still has potential to have a nice career back in the National League with the Marlins.  After this year’s 5.0 Million Dollar Salary, the Marlins have two consecutive 1-yr Team Options for 5 more Million per Year.  If he messes up in Florida, the team will bid him good riddance.

Adeiny Hechavarria SS/2B:  This man is the real deal at defense and could be a real solid offensive player for years in the Major Leagues.  He was the prize prospect with the Jays for the last few years.  He will see way more playing time in Miami, especially with his contract paying him one of the higher salaries on the club.

Henderson Alvarez SP:  Alvarez was up and down in his 2012 campaign, going 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA.  If the Marlins young pitcher can straighten out his game, along with Escobar and Hechavarria, then the Marlins will have 3 really good latin players out of this trade and a built in marketing campaign down in South Beach. 

Jeff Mathis C:  Mathis is a good, dependable veteran catcher who will be looked upon to guide a bunch of young Pitchers for the next 3 years in the Miami rotation.  He is only player to have a guaranteed contract on the Marlins roster for 2014.

Justin Nicolino SP: He was 10-4 for Lansing of the Mid West League (A) in 2012, with a 2.48 ERA, after going 5-1 with 1.03 ERA with the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League in 2011.  Was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 Amateur Entry Draft.  He is 6’3 160 LBS and 20 years old.

Anthony DeSclafini RP:  This 22 Year Old Right Hander was drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft.  He is 6’2 and 195 LBS.  He was 11-3 for Lansing (A) of the Mid West League, with a 3.37 ERA in 21 Starts for the 2012 campaign.

 Jake Marisnick OF:  This 21 Year Old was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2009 Amateur Draft.  In 2012, he split time between (Dunedin A+, .263 6 HRs and 35 RBI, .800 OPS)  and New Hampshire:  (AA, .233 2 HRs and 15 RBI and a .633 OPS.)

It will be years before we will see who won this trade.  I am just so happy to have something of substance to talk about in the Hot Stove!  To visit the 2013 Updated Version of the Toronto Blue Jays 2013 Payroll Blog I did click here

While Yunel Escobar is club-controlled until 2015 with the Marlins, Adeiny Hechavarria is the key player in this deal for the long-term. The Marlins are hoping that his hitting .300 in September is a sign of things to come in the future.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

Posted on November 14, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Very good article. I love this trade for the Jays. That pitching staff looks very good from top to bottom and they have some good young arms in the minors. Picking up Reyes will help the offensem with those big bats hitting behind him.

  1. Pingback: Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Blockbuster, Upton, Dodgers - Unofficial Network

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