It is official, Commissioner Bud Selig has approved another Marlins fire sale. Not many could see this coming. Although the Marlins have notoriously had fire sales soon after winning, this time is different. This past season the Marlins moved to Miami and spent significant money for a new stadium. Well, the public spent significant money for a new stadium...
The 12-player deals sends Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio and some cash to the Blue Jays. In return the Marlins received Yunel Escobar and six other players that most have never heard of. The reason for this trade is simple. Salary dump. The Miami Marlins had $163.75 million in guaranteed salary to the players that were traded. The Marlins will see $154 million in net coming off the books, this does not include the cash involved in the deal. Clearly the Marlins are saving a lot of money by making this deal. The obvious downside for the Marlins is they will lack performance on the field.
From the Blue Jays prospective this is a significant move. The Blue Jays play in one of the most difficult divisions in Major League Baseball and are constantly battling for position within the division. This move makes the AL East an even more difficult division. With teams that include the Yankees, Rays, Orioles, and Red Sox the division will still be quite difficult to win, but this move gives them a chance to really compete. The ownership group of the Blue Jays, Rogers Communication, have proven a true financial commitment with this trade. The Blue Jays ranked 23rd in MLB with a $75 million payroll, after the trade the payroll will increase to over $120 million. This will be the first time in franchise history that the Blue Jays will pay over $100 million in payroll for a season.
Bud Selig made the decision to approve the trade but not without serious thought. After approving the trade Selig said, "I am sensitive to the concerns of the fans of Miami regarding the trade, and I understand the reactions I have heard since Tuesday. Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities and I fully understand that the Miami community has done its part to put the Marlins into a position to succeed with beautiful new Marlins Park." Selig later said that he will monitor the situation and believes the Marlins ownership is committed to long term winning.
This situation disgust me. The Marlins moved to Miami and had the public mostly fund a baseball stadium for the team to play in. After the Marlins took the money and built a beautiful stadium, the fans assumed they would be committed to winning. The Marlins then proceed to trade away the team to save some money. I hope that the rebuilding of the Marlins happens sooner than later because those fans deserve it.