Miami Marlins trade high-profile players to Toronto | Baseball
The Miami Marlins agreed to trade starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes, outfielder/infielder Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Miami Marlins' front office continued to swing a sledgehammer at the underwhelming 2012 team, agreeing to trade starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes, outfielder/infielder Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays, a league source confirmed.
Among the players the Marlins are getting back in what amounts to a massive salary dump: shortstop Yunel Escobar, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, left-hander Justin Nicolino and infielder Adeiny Hechavarria. Outfield prospect Jake Marisnick, right-handed pitching prospect Anthony DeSclafani and catcher Jeff Mathis also are part of the contingent heading to South Florida, a source said.
Because the Marlins also are sending $4 million to the Blue Jays, the commissioner's office must approve the trade before it is announced.
Miami was 69-93 this year, its first in a new ballpark, and manager Ozzie Guillen was fired.
The Marlins are unloading $163.75 million in guaranteed contracts to Buck, Buehrle, Johnson and Reyes. Bonifacio, who was sidelined much of last season with injuries, is arbitration-eligible. He earned $2.2 million in 2012.
Reyes and Buehrle both signed free-agent contracts with the Marlins as part of a $191 million spending spree last offseason. Reyes is owed $96 million over the next five seasons, and Buehrle is signed through 2015 for $48 million.
Heath Bell, the third member of that free-agent binge, also is gone after a horrific season. The Marlins gave him a three-year, $27 million contract and earlier this offseason shipped him and $8 million to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Johnson and Buck each have a year remaining on their contracts at $13.75 million and $6 million, respectively, before qualifying for free agency.
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami's precocious slugger, wasn't involved in the deal but had an opinion.
Stanton said he was mad about the trade "Plain & Simple," he tweeted shortly after the news broke.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison tweeted: "I'm not gonna do what (every) body thinks I'm gonna do and freak out! Ugh, I need a bath."
Toronto star Jose Bautista had a different interpretation.
"Its a good day to be a bluejay!" he tweeted.
At least new Marlins manager Mike Redmond — a former player for Gonzaga and Gonzaga Prep in Spokane — will be familiar with many of the acquired players. Redmond spent the last two seasons managing in the Blue Jays' farm system before taking the Miami job.
Melvin, Johnson honored
Young rosters, relatively small budgets, limited expectations.
Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics and Davey Johnson of the Washington Nationals won big and were voted managers of the year after guiding their teams to huge turnaround seasons.
Melvin beat out Baltimore's Buck Showalter for the American League honor in a close vote by a Baseball Writers' Association of America panel. In Melvin's first full season with Oakland, the rookie-laden A's made a 20-game improvement, finished 94-68 and won the AL West with baseball's lowest payroll.
Ex-Mariners manager Melvin, 51, was the NL manager of the year in 2007 with the Arizona Diamondbacks but didn't expect to get an award this time.
"Absolutely shocked. I mean, Buck had such a great year," Melvin said.
Johnson, 69, guided the Nationals to the best record in the major leagues (98-64) and their first playoff appearance. He was the AL manager of the year in 1997 with Baltimore.
Melvin and Johnson are among six managers to win the award in both leagues. The others are ex-Mariners manager Lou Piniella, Jim Leyland, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.
• Ex-Rockies player Dante Bichette was hired as Colorado's hitting instructor on the staff of new manager Walt Weiss. Bichette and Weiss, both 48, were teammates in Denver from 1994 through 1997.