Revisiting the Blockbuster with the Toronto Blue Jays


Two years ago, the Marlins were re-branded, revamped, and relocated to a new stadium. The glow quickly wore off after a losing season, and a salary dump which stripped the team of all talent not named Giancarlo Stanton. We all remember the backlash, the picket line outside Marlins park, the analysts deeming Jeffery Loria a crook, and the franchise hopeless. Today we look back on this trade, and see how it’s played out for both teams so far.

The 2012 Marlins were not real. I repeat, the 2012 Marlins never existed. Jeffery Loria decided to open his wallet for a couple of months and sign a few big names, in trying to fill the seats of his newly constructed ballpark. The Marlins traded for the most outspoken manager in sports, signed on to the Showtime series The Franchise, and outfitted their players with colorful new uniforms. All of the hope vanished by mid July, courtesy of a trade deadline fire sale, and the team was completely torn apart during the off season.

The Marlins sent the remnants of their roster to the Blue Jays to effectively cut their payroll to the lowest in the majors. They sent Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to Toronto. In turn, they received Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino, Anthony Desclafani, Yunel Escobar (who became Derek Dietrich), Jeff Mathis, and Jake Marisnick. At the time, these players seemed like no names. We got squashed, and Jeffery Loria should have been hanged outside Marlins Park.

Not so fast. Today, Henderson Alvarez leads the Jose Fernandez-less pitching staff with a 2.27 ERA.  Justin Nicolino is progressing in AA, while Anthony Desclafani has made his debut in the Majors. No, he hasn’t lit up the world, but that’s expected from a young pitcher adjusting to the big leagues. Adeiny Hechavarria is the everyday shortstop, Derek Dietrich is currently on the DL, but when he’s on the field he can really hit.

Jake Marisnick can’t find consistent at bats in the big leagues due to a crowded (and immensely talented) outfield. He needs to adjust his swing, but he possesses a lot of tools, and could serve as trade bait down the line.  Jeff Mathis can’t hit to save his life, but he’s great defensively and knows how to handle this young pitching staff.

On the other side of it, Jose Reyes missed most of last season, but he’s stayed relatively healthy this year and has been pretty productive. Productive enough for his contract? probably not. Mark Buehrle has been consistent, and is in the middle of a career season for the Blue Jays at age 35. John Johnson is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, and Emilio Bonifacio is still Emilio Bonifacio.

Overall, the Marlins did pretty well, considering the objective of the trade was to cut payroll. They managed a pretty decent return, and they certainly don’t have to pay them much. I’ve already covered my love for Henderson Alvarez,  and the rest of the talent is still up and coming. The future looks bright for this group of Marlins,  and hey, the present isn’t even that gloomy. Now that the dust has been settled for a while, it’s pretty fair to say the Marlins didn’t get totally fleeced.