The Miami Marlins’ spending spree a year ago didn’t work, so now they’re trying another payroll purge, shedding some of their biggest stars and their multimillion-dollar salaries in one blockbuster deal.
Rebranded in a new ballpark at the start of 2012, the Marlins were up to their old ways Tuesday, swapping high-priced talent for top prospects. Miami traded All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, lefthander Mark Buehrle, and ace righthander Josh Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays, a person familiar with the agreement said.
The person confirmed the trade to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams weren’t officially commenting. The person said the trade sent several of the Blue Jays’ best young players to Miami.
The stunning agreement came less than a year after the Marlins added Reyes, Buehrle, and closer Heath Bell in an uncharacteristic $191 million spending binge as they moved into a new ballpark. The acquisitions raised high hopes, but the Marlins instead finished last in the NL East.
While the team was a disappointment, newcomers Buehrle and Reyes played up to expectations. Buehrle went 13-13 with a 3.74 ERA and topped 200 innings for the 12th year in a row. Reyes hit .287 with 40 steals in 160 games. Johnson, who led the NL in ERA in 2010, went 8-14 this year with a 3.81 ERA. He was limited to nine starts in 2011 because of right shoulder inflammation.
“I enjoyed my time in Florida,” the 28-year-old, two-time All-Star told MLB.com. “Thank you, fans, for everything. You always supported me, and I appreciate that.”
Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista took to Twitter to share the news: “It’s a good day to be a bluejay!”
Johnson, Melvin winDavey Johnson of the Nationals, and Bob Melvin of the Athletics were chosen as managers of the year after guiding their teams to huge turnaround seasons.
Melvin beat out Baltimore’s Buck Showalter for the AL honor in a close vote. Under Melvin, the A’s made a 20-game improvement, finished 94-68 and won the AL West.
Johnson was an easy choice for the NL prize after the Nationals — who had never enjoyed a winning year — posted the best record in the majors and made their first playoff appearance.
Johnson, who turns 70 in January, was honored for the second time.
He was tabbed as the AL’s top manager in 1997. , hours after he resigned from the Orioles in a feud with owner Peter Angelos.