The recent trade between the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays has been highly publicized over the last couple weeks. However, the one thing that has been overlooked is the trade’s fantasy baseball appeal.
Miami shipped the majority of their big league talent to Toronto in a trade that will no doubt gut the Marlins of any big league players. SS Jose Reyes, SP Josh Johnson, OF Emillo Bonifacio, SP Mark Buehrle, and C John Buck were all shipped to the Blue Jays (with their contracts) for a handful of MLB hopefuls.
Conversely in the deal, Miami received infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria. They also received pitchers, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, and Justin Nicolino as well as catcher Jake Marisnick.
One can’t help but notice how completely one-sided this trade was, but is quick to forget the millions of dollars that the Marlins are currently dumping on the Blue Jays. It appears that All-Star Jose Bautista may have been omitted from the trade, but that is something that can hardly be taken into account after the fact.
Since July the Marlins have also parted ways with SP Anibal Sanchez (Detroit Tigers), RP Heath Miller (Arizona Diamondbacks), 3B Hanley Ramirez (Los Angeles Dodgers), 2B Omar Infante (Detroit Tigers), and 1B Gaby Sanchez (Pittsburgh Pirates).
Considering the newest departures in Miami, it is hard to imagine the team being able to put together a winning team for years to come, but the fantasy analysis of the trade may be a different subject.
Toronto’s new starting shortstop, Reyes, will be the biggest fantasy benefactor in this trade. Reyes is now in a much more fantasy friendly offense and will be able to rival his career numbers across the board, as his rather modest 2012 numbers were viewed as a disappointment across the fantasy world. He will easily finish the year as a top-5 shortstop and will only get more freedom in Toronto to make plays. Expect him to get back to his 2007 All-Star form and carry fantasy teams this spring.
Also, Johnson will become the clear-cut ace for a Blue Jays’ rotation that has some of the most underrated strikeout artists in the game in Brandon Morrow and J. A. Happ. The 28-year-old Johnson will get great run support from this American League team and will once again become a reliable fantasy starter in 2013.
Johnson’s 8-14 record last year was not indicative to his late season success, as his 2.91 ERA throughout the month of September was greatly overshadowed by the Marlins’ inability to score runs for him. Johnson only got better as he got healthier throughout 2012, something the Marlins obviously did not witness. Johnson will return as a front of the rotation fantasy ace this season and will come close to a career high in wins due to the strong team behind him.
Additionally, Bonifacio will fill an immediate hole at second base for Toronto and will give fantasy owners a huge addition at the keystone position. Bonifacio will also qualify in the outfield, which will only give the utility player an extra advantage in fantasy leagues.
Be thankful if are you the owner of a Blue Jay in a keeper league, because the team will now be getting much better run support in the Hogtown. Miami gutted their lineup card and thus their roster’s fantasy value. OF Giancarlo Stanton is the only reliable fantasy option left in Miami and it now sounds like he may even be leaving Miami for greener pastures.
Toronto’s fantasy players just got a huge fantasy boost, while Miami’s lineup is now useless from a fantasy standpoint. The fantasy implications of this trade will be talked about for years. Several key keepers traded hands in this move, so more than a couple fantasy owners have felt the reach from this trade.
This is a shocking way to start the 2013 fantasy baseball season and it will certainly not be the last questionable move of the off-season.