As you may have heard, the Miami Marlins have made an epic trade to get rid of 181 million dollars in guaranteed money sent to the Toronto Blue Jays. Miami has officially shed themselves of every acquisition they made last year. Heath Bell is gone to Arizona. Ozzie Guillen is in the unemployment line. Now they sent Jose Reyes and Mark Buerhle to Toronto (along with John Buck, Josh Johnson and Emilio Bonafacio) to further rid Southern Florida of the stink that was last years team. Not to mention they traded away Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez midseason. Maybe the whole we are going to spend money and bring fans back to the ball park was just a facade. Maybe, just maybe, there are bigger plans in mind.
Giancarlo Stanton is mad about the whole situation, as he has explained on his Twitter account. Toronto undoubtedly won the trade in this situation by a landslide, but let's look at the bigger picture. Jeffrey Loria is maybe the worst owner in baseball. He makes dumb moves that make no sense and seems to stab his fan base in the back, and on the outside this seems to be the same situation. Look deeper into this. The Marlins may want to get younger and did get some decent prospects in the trade.
Yunel Escobar is a big question mark in terms of production, you could either get the version who hits near .300 with ten home runs a few stolen bases, or the guy who hits .250 and brings nothing to the table. He is Cuban, which is a part of the population that the Marlins lost last year because of the asinine comments coming from Ozzie Guillen earlier in the season. Henderson Alvarez is a green pitcher who has the talent to one day be a top of the rotation starter. He has a fastball that tops out at 96-97 mph and three breaking pitches. Justin Nicolino is was early to tell, but he is a second round pick that has decent off speed stuff to get by. He will not be a guy who blows you away with speed so he needs to make sure he works on location through the minors. Adeiny Hechavarria is a Cuban defectee (another one who could help bring back that part of the fan base) who may become the centerpiece of the deal for the Marlins. He has good bat speed and is quick on the bases. He plays a decent short stop and has nothing but potential. Anthony DeSclafani is a former Florida Gator who did very well in the Midwest League last year. He was 11-3 with a 3.37 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 25 walks. Jake Marisnick could be another piece that will make you future Marlins fans drool. He hits for power (14 HRs in 118 games in 2011) without sacrificing average (.320) and he also steals bases (37 for A ball). He is a very raw talent, but he is as good a prospect as you can get in baseball. You are always taking a chance in dealing for a player who has not played past A ball, but at least this one looks like an educated one. Jeff Mathis is a throw in to play some backup catcher and has a little power off the bench.
Is all that enough to justify losing Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, and Josh Johnson? Probably not, but they got more than the Red Sox got. You have something to look forward to with this bunch. The present, however, looks bleak. Is there something to be done there? I think there is.
The Marlins do not have any salaries they have to dump so they have the ability to trade for other people's salary dumps while making the other team cover most of the costs. Maybe taking a chance on a John Lackey or a Barry Zito shouldn't be too expensive. Maybe you can also pick up a Vernon Wells for cheap. Hell, see if you can get Manny Ramirez for the league minimum, at least he is a name that can put fans in the seats. The ultimate person to get, though is Alex Rodriguez. He is a Miami boy, he is a huge name that can be the centerpiece of your stadium and team for years to come, and you could probably get New York to pay 20 million dollars a year to get rid of him. Now that the Yankees would not have to take back a bad contract in the trade they would be willing to take on most of the ARod deal just to get him out of New York. The only problem with this situation is if Rodriguez would wave his no trade clause. His time in New York overall has been deemed a failure and he isn't ready to quit on it just yet. The fans would love to see him go, but his pride makes him want to do something to be loved again. He wants that 2009 magic back. Can the Yankees sell to ARod that a change of scenery is what both sides need?
Again, this is all speculation and there are no facts behind any of this. It is possible that Jeffrey Loria just wanted to put up a look like he was willing to spend money to get the tax dollars to pay for his brand new stadium. He has state of the art stadium that he has to do something to fill next year or he will look like a scam artist of an owner. That is if he cares.