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A Baseball Blog - Scientific and Speculative Thoughts from Third Base

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Marlins Trade Away Everyone, Take Something or Other

So, the Marlins have continued their perpetual fire sale from last summer, sending Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and others to Toronto.

This seems a little like the Red Sox-Dodgers deal, but a little more even. The Blue Jays gave up less than the Dodgers and got more reasonable contracts. None of them will be huge bargains, but they're all probably more or less at market value. Last year, Reyes was worth 4.5 WAR (by Fangraphs), Johnson was worth 3.8, and Buehrle was worth 2.1. With the current estimates of $5 million per WAR on the open market, that comes out to $52 million. The contracts will be back-loaded, but none of the deals looks awful yet, and probably none will become Vernon Wells-level awful.

Really, the worst thing is the implications. Every major free agent the Marlins signed last year is gone, and it looks like the splurging was a shallow marketing lie to try and draw fans. They have shed close to $50 million in payroll in one offseason, and it really just doesn't look like they're serious about winning, only making a slightly larger profit. They also pissed off young face of the franchise Giancarlo Stanton, meaning his days are probably numbered (granted, he may have a few years with his lower at the moment salary). Jeffrey Loria shouldn't be an owner after his debacle in Montreal, and this only further solidifies my view on this.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are solid. Reyes provides a big line-up boost. The rotation, which was held together with tape and bubble gum last year, gets not only Buehrle and Johnson, but also a returning-from-injury Brandon Morrow (and hopefully Ricky Romero gets over whatever happened last year that made him awful). That's a solid top of the rotation. They also still have the rest of the off-season to improve. They might well be a strong contender next year, although I'd like to see what their divisional rivals do first before calling them favorites or anything.

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