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Notes: Marlins owner defends trade despite fan backlash

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria became frustrated Wednesday when asked why he has decided to dismantle most of the talent on his team such a short time after assembling it.

“We finished in last place. Figure it out,” he told CBSSports.com from the winter meetings in Chicago.

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The Marlins and Blue Jays have agreed to a blockbuster trade that would send shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, catcher John Buck and infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio to Toronto for prospects. The deal is pending physicals for the players.

The trade could save Loria and the Marlins approximately $150 million, which prompted a backlash from South Floridians angered by the team’s latest payroll purge.

“Everybody in the world wants to talk about the Marlins and the fact they’re now a Triple A team,” said city commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who was an opponent of the team’s new ballpark project. “The Marlins have lost pretty much all credibility with fans. Even if this trade is a positive move from a baseball standpoint, it won’t be viewed by the general public as a positive move.”

After finishing last in the NL East, the Marlins fired controversial manager Ozzie Guillen last month. During the season, the Marlins also traded closer Heath Bell to the Diamondbacks, infielder Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers and pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Tigers.

Hunter to join Tigers

Free agent outfielder Torii Hunter has agreed to a $26 million, two-year deal with Detroit, giving the Tigers a capable corner outfielder. A person with knowledge of the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made, confirmed the deal and said Hunter has a physical scheduled for Friday . . . The Giants and reliever Jeremy Affeldt completed an $18 million, three-year contract. Affeldt went 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 67 appearances in 2012 . . . The Red Sox announced the signing of catcher David Ross after he passed his physical. Ross agreed to terms on Saturday on a $6.2 million deal. Ross, 35, appeared in eight games for the Sox in 2008 before joining the Atlanta Braves for four seasons. He hit .256 with nine home runs last season. Ross is considered one of the best defensive catchers in the game . . . Red Sox chairman Tom Werner will receive the Dave Winfield Humanitarian Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation on Jan. 12 in Los Angeles. The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation has helped scouts in need because of illness or financial hardships.

Peter Abraham of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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