MLB: Marlins continue to blow it….UP!
It feels like every couple years, the Miami Marlins decide to hold an auction for their high priced talent. It seemed that this might be a thing of the past after last offseason, when the Marlins were big spenders, bringing in the likes of shortstop Jose Reyes, starting pitcher Mark Buehrle and reliever/closer Heath Bell. Okay, you say, “the Marlins are now big spenders with a fantastic new ballpark.” Well we have found out over the course of the last few months that the club is switching gears. When they traded Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, it felt like perhaps more of a clubhouse, team culture type of change, where they did save money.
Now last month, when the Marlins moved Bell after signing him less than a year ago, it started to feel like perhaps the club was about to go into sale off mode. On the other hand, Bell did struggle last season, so the thinking is that he needed a change of scenery. Well Tuesday night, the Marlins assured the world they are going back to being….well….the Marlins. The club agreed to trade Reyes, Buehrle, pitcher Josh Johnson, outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays for shortstop Yunel Escobar, catcher Jeff Mathis and a ton of young, affordable players/prospects.
What this deal does do is make the Blue Jays an instant contender in the American League East, and perhaps pushes the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles into a more aggressive push on the free agent market and trade front to keep pace.
The Marlins still have Giancarlo Stanton, the 23-year-old power hitter who already has 93 career home runs in just three seasons. Or do they? Technically they do, but Stanton is not happy about this trade. Despite having a very affordable contract, which is what the Marlins love, if the young power hitter continues to voice his displeasure, perhaps it can lead to a trade demand. Now at the moment, Stanton of course is not in play and is the piece the Marlins will build their future around. This can be something to look out for though as the offseason progresses.
For Marlin fans, it has be tough knowing that once again the club is in full rebuild mode, despite having a brand new ballpark. For Blue Jay fans, it must feel good to finally have a club that should be back in contention in the ever difficult AL East.