The Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays are more than feeling the ramifications of the mega-trade that sent Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle among others to the Jays for Yunel Escobar and a bevy of prospects and second-hand players. Already Fish Stripes has supplied an extensive take on the entire trade, covering the situation from as many angles as can be found. You can rest assured that this blog will continue to cover the story in the days ahead.
But the story still has a minuscule chance to be a non-story, albeit one of the biggest in baseball history. Commissioner Bud Selig has yet to review and approve the trade between the Marlins and Jays.
Speaking at the conclusion of the owners' meetings, Selig said Thursday the trade hasn't officially been presented to him. But he said the matter is under review and he talked to two independent baseball people who feel the Marlins did well in the proposed swap.
Selig also mentions that he is aware of the fan anger involved in the trade, but it seems impartial baseball people agree with the sentiment previously written here that, from a strictly baseball perspective, the Marlins made off well in the trade. Again, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle were going to cost more than they were worth thanks to their back-loaded contracts, and as a result they were likely not as good as simply having the money available to the team to utilize in the future.
The problem, as we pointed out earlier today, is that the Marlins may find it difficult to utilize any of that money saved given how poorly they have treated the players of their organization, including the free agents they traded and the lone remaining star on the franchise in Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins' new plan post-fire sale is to gather assets and develop them into quality major leaguers three or four years down the road. But if the team cannot sign impact free agents, then they are left in a similar state as the 2006 era ball club that was hampered by mediocre support for one or two star players. And if the team cannot re-sign its best young players because of the lack of trust between the ownership and the Marlins players, then the cycle of purging will continue with or without a winning period in between.
There is a reasonable baseball argument to suggest that the Marlins came off well enough in Tuesday's trade, certainly well enough to avoid the deal being nixed by the commissioner's office. But that does not mean that the trade was a positive for the organization as a whole. Marlins fans may yet wish for Selig to deliver them back the players the Marlins traded away, but even that will not reverse the irreparable damage to the already-ugly reputation of the organization.
Your move, Commissioner Selig.