by Ryan Potter
The Blue Jays and Marlins are on the verge of completing a blockbuster deal. The Marlins reportedly will send SP Josh Johnson, SS Jose Reyes, SP Mark Buehrle, C John Buck, and utility man Emilio Bonafacio in exchange for SP Henderson Alvarez, LHP Justin Nicolino, SS’s Yunel Escobar, and prospects SS Adeiny Hechavarria, OF Jake Marisnick.
Hechavarria is one of the top shortstop prospects in baseball and the 8th best player in the Blue Jays’ system . Marisnick is a promising young outfielder rated as the 67th best prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus.
If this trade goes through it would make Toronto the favorite in the AL East next season. The strength of the Blue Jays would pitching, behind former All-Star pitchers Johnson and Buehrle and promising young starter Ricky Romero. Add in a lineup that featuring the speedy Jose Reyes hitting in front of sluggers Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista and Colby Rasmus and the Blue Jays are undoubtedly a playoff team.
The Marlins are continuing their goal of becoming the first team to field an entire roster of replacement level players. Miami’s most recent firesale started with them shipping 3B Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers and SP Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante to the Tigers over the summer. Miami looks to be in rebuilding mode after receiving a few good prospects in those deals, including the Tigers top pitching prospect Jacob Turner. The trade would leave the Marlins with only $20.2M in payroll commitments to non-arbitration eligible players for the 2013 season, after opening the 2012 season with a $100M payroll.
Update 9:12PM: Sources close to the situation to not expect a deal to be finalized until Wednesday.
Update 8:01PM: The Blue Jays will also send pitching prospect Anthony DeSclafani. Catcher Jeff Mathis will head to Toronto in the deal, and the Blue Jays will throw in $4M cash.
Ryan Potter can be reached on Twitter @RyanPotter26