It’s been a while since I posted here, in part because transitioning to a new job in a different field has taken what mental resources I’ve been able to muster. But how could I not comment on the news coming out of Toronto and Miami today?
Miami basically sent everybody they owe a paycheque to to Toronto. The details are still hazy, but as of the time I’m writing this, here’s the trade:
Anthony Gose OR Jake Marisnick
JP Arencibia, Bobby Wilson, or Jeff Mathis
It’s what they call a blockbuster.
First of all, it’s hard to not be excited about this trade simply because it is a huge, huge trade, the sort we don’t see very often. It’s the biggest trade in baseball since the Red Sox / Dodgers trade of a few months ago, which was maybe the biggest trade in decades. The Marlins dropped close to $85 million in salary commitments. The Jays, meanwhile, suddenly have a lineup full of players whose names are recognized outside of Toronto, and that might actually get them on Sunday Night Baseball at some point in the near future.
I think this is especially exciting for Toronto fans. The team’s not often involved in blockbusters like this, especially when it involves Toronto taking on salary. Usually it’s going the other way (see Halladay, Roy). This could be interpreted as a sign that Alex Anthopolous, Paul Beeston, and Rogers see the Jays as contenders in 2013, and are willing to reach into their pocketbooks a little bit more than they have been in the past. There’s no guarantee that the team will contend in a stacked AL East next year, but they certainly got a bit stronger in the short term.
For Miami fans, this has to hurt. Marlins fans are by now used to the team having a fire sale every few years, but they usually come after a bit of success. Already, fans are pointing fingers at Jeff Loria and remembering what he did to the Expos, to the point that some speculate that Bud Selig will nix the deal because of the long term impact it could have on Miami as a baseball market. Even Giancarlo Stanton voiced his displeasure, tweeting earlier tonight that he was, and I quote, “pissed.”
With that said, the Marlins aren’t getting nothing here. They picked up a few strong young players from the Jays’ farm system. Down the road a few years, more understanding fans might look back on this trade with rosier glasses than they have on today. Only time will tell.
Insofar as trades have winners and losers, this one is a toss-up. The Jays got the names, that’s for sure. But there are some aging names there, as well as a couple of players who aren’t be under team control for too long. The Jays are stronger in the short term, but the risk is very high, as well, that they’ve over-burdened themselves with Jose Reyes’ salary, which is going to break the $20-million mark as of 2015. That’s an awful lot of money to commit to. Nevertheless, fans should also consider that none of these players have any sort of no-trade clause, and that’s worth something, as well. My evaluation will also depend on which catcher the Marlins get—Mathis is far less valuable, I think, than Arencibia.
I don’t know if, on the whole, I like the trade or not. I like Emilio Bonifacio, who is flexible, speedy, and young. I’m leery of Josh Johnson’s DL history, and of Mark Buehrle’s age and salary. Ditto Jose Reyes (who isn’t particularly old yet, but he will be getting up there when his contract expires.) But I do know that, all of a sudden, the Jays have a pretty intimidating batting order and pitching staff, especially if Ricky Romero gets it together for next year.
Regardless, it’s going to be exciting to watch.