I had a couple of things I was going to write about earlier tonight… but Jeffrey Loria and the Miami Marlins have made every other baseball story irrelevant for the moment.
In case you missed the news reports, the Marlins are close to completing a mega deal that would ship Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emiliano Bonifacio and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays for shortstop Yunel Escobar, backup catcher Jeff Mathis, 22-year-old starter Henderson Alvarez and four minor leaguers, including three of the Jays’ top 10 prospects.
Miami had a $118 million payroll on Opening Day; once the deal goes through, they’ll have just under $22 million committed to six players and they’ll be able to pay the rest of their roster at or slightly above major league minimum. And after tonight, I’d hardly be surprised to see the Marlins move Ricky Nolasco and his $11.5 million contract.
Giancarlo Stanton is the one star player Marlins fans have left to root for, and who knows how much longer he’ll be around. His reaction to the trade:
Maybe someone could see this deal as a way for the Marlins to restock their farm system while escaping some poorly thought out contracts. But really, who could blame fans for thinking it’s just a way to let Loria put more of the Marlins’ revenue-sharing money into his own bank account instead of using it to improve his team?
It’s hard to argue with him.
If there are bright spots to the deal, well, Toronto is going to be in a lot better shape to challenge the New York Yankees next year. All four other teams in the American League East are strong, or at least potentially strong in the case of the Boston Red Sox. The Steinbrenner sons may find themselves wishing they were worrying about ways to explain empty seats at playoff games next October.
And the Mets, no matter what Sandy Alderson does this winter, are not a lock for last place in the National League East in next year’s pre-season predictions.