Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays Blockbuster Trade Reported

The Miami Marlins are apparently in the process of shedding about $160 million in payroll in a mega deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, which Fox Sports is calling “one of the largest trades in baseball history.”

If the trade goes through as planned, the Marlins will send shortstop Jose Reyes, starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, catcher John Buck, and infielder/outfielder (and fan favorite) Emilio Bonifacio to Toronto for multiple young players and prospects including including shortstops Adeiny Hechavarria and Yunel Escobar. As a minor league manager in the Toronto Blue Jays system, new Marlins manager Mike Redmond is said to be familiar with the prospects his team will receive in the deal.

As baseball fans know, this is not the first time the Marlins — who finished in last place in the National League East in 2012 in their first season in a publicly financed new stadium — engaged in a huge salary dump. Fox Sports calls this version an “epic backpedal” from their free-agent signings last year:

“For the Marlins, the salary purge is shocking (based on their Opening Day payroll of roughly $100 million this year) but also predictable, when considering their organizational history of fire sales. After the trade, the club has roughly $16 million on the books for 2013, not including arbitration-eligible players.” summarizes the impact of this trade for the Blue Jays and the rest of the division:

“The deal will radically remake the Blue Jays’ roster and potentially alter the landscape of the American League East, if not the entire AL. Johnson and Buehrle will be huge upgrades to a Toronto rotation that struggled with injuries in 2012, and Reyes adds a dynamic presence at the plate, in the infield and on the basepaths to set up the club’s big sluggers.

“The Blue Jays already own one of the league’s most potent offenses, led by slugger Jose Bautista, and the addition of Reyes only strengthens and deepens their lineup. Adding Johnson, a legitimate No. 1 starter when healthy, and Buehrle, a durable veteran, will instantly improve Toronto’s pitching staff as well.”

Josh Johnson sign Marlins Park

Both Buehrle and Reyes signed long-term deals with the Marlins in 2011 but without the protection of a contractual no-trade clause according to ESPN. ESPN’s Buster Olney has tweeted that the deal won’t become official until sometime tomorrow, however.

The Jays currently are without a manager in place after John Farrell left for the Red Sox.

Marlins star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (formerly Mike Stanton) seems less than thrilled with the blockbuster trade:

Do you think Jose Reyes would have ever left the New York Mets and signed as a free agent with the Marlins if he thought he would wind up in Canada? Do you believe this trade will encourage more candidates to come forward as potential managers for the Blue Jays?

[Photos by Robert Jonathan]