Marlins Trade Team to TorontoBy
News is still trickling in and being confirmed, but it appears the Marlins have traded a large chunk of their starting players – and contractual obligations – to the Toronto Blue Jays. The trade will leave Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton as the only two players left from the 2012 Opening Day lineup.
The deal is set to send starting pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, catcher John Buck, shortstop Jose Reyes, and utility player Emilio Bonifacio north of the border. In return – and stop me if you’ve heard this before – the Marlins are receiving a boat load of prospects.
The details are still hazy, and with nothing official yet, we are relying on “sources” and Twitter feeds. It appears the Marlins will be receiving Jake Marisnick, Henderson Alvarez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis, and Justin Nicolino. A quick breakdown of each player:
- Jake Marisnick, 21 year old outfielder, is a former 3rd round draft pick who was rated as the 67th top prospect by Baseball America prior to the season. He possesses a lot of tools, but doesn’t yet have the stat line to show for it. He will turn 22 before the 2013 season starts. Last season, he split time between high-A and AA. In high-A, he had a .263/.349/.451 slash line with 6 home runs, 35 RBI, and 10 steals in 266 at bats. After being promoted to AA, he hit .233/.286/.336 with 2 home runs and 15 RBI in 223 at bats.
- Henderson Alvarez, 22 year old starting pitcher, was signed as an international free agent by the Jays in 2006. He posted somewhat mediocre numbers in the low minors until his promotion to AA in 2011, where he went 8-4 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Later that year, Alvarez was promoted to the big league team directly from AA, where he went 1-3 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 63.2 innings. In 2012, Alvarez made 31 starts and went 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 187.1 innings. He walked 54 and struck out 79 batters.
- Adeiny Hechavarria, 23 year old infielder, was signed as a free agent defector from Cuba. He struggled in the low minors but had success in AAA, though it was buoyed by a particularly high BABIP in both of his stops there (.471 and .371, respectively). He was promoted to the big club last season and he hit .254/.280/.365 with 2 home runs and 15 RBI in 126 at bats. He profiles as a utility fielder at this point.
- Yunel Escobar, 30 year old shortstop, homophobe. A 6 year veteran, he is the most accomplished of the group, with a career OPS+ of 99 in his years with Atlanta and Toronto. Reports had him driven out of Atlanta in 2010 due to a bad attitude. His OPS last season was .644, a career low. He also had a homophobic slur written on his eye-black at the end of the season. Ozzie Guillen supported hi.
- Justin Nicolino, 21 year old lefty starting pitcher, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 Draft. He has thus far put up tremendous numbers in the low minors, with a 1.33 ERA in 61 innings in 2011 and a 2.46 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 124.1 innings in A ball last season.
- Jeff Mathis, 29 year old catcher who will turn 30 before Opening Day. He is a former first round pick who has been extremely underwhelming in his 8 years in the majors, with a career .198/.256/.314 slash line and 53 OPS+ for his career. A righty hitter, one would assume he will platoon with Rob Brantly against lefties.
Reports currently have the Marlins also sending $4 million in cash to the Blue Jays, and possibly having another minor leaguer (Anthony DeSclafani) headed back as well. We know there is a deal, but we don’t quite know all the details for sure. More as this gets sorted out. With this trade, the Marlins’ payroll obligations for next year will be around $30 million.
Update: It does appear the Marlins are getting DeSclafani in the deal. Drafted from UF in the 6th round of the 2011 draft, he made his debut as a 22 year old in A ball last year. In 28 games (21 starts) spanning 123 innings, DeSclafani went 11-3 with a 3.37 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.