The fallout from the agreed to 12-player blockbuster between the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays continues, and just when you thought the Marlins couldn't possibly come away from the fire sale looking any worse than they already did, comes this very interesting report from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
As we all know, the Marlins are notorious for their refusal to grant no-trade clauses to free agents. According to Rosenthal's sources, two players involved in the pending trade, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, voiced concern with that policy and the Marlins history of dumping high salaried players at a moment's notice during their recruitment last offseason. That led to Marlins president David Samson personally promising both men that they would be a part of the Marlins' "long-term vision" if they signed.
Buehrle knew the Marlins' history of dumping high-priced players, and it concerned him, according to a friend. Team president David Samson, however, told both Buehrle and his wife, Jamie, that the team was committed to a long-term vision, sources said.
A source close to Reyes, asked if the shortstop also received verbal assurances from the Marlins that he would not be traded, responded, "The answer is yes. A vehement yes."
A verbal agreement is not binding and the Marlins have technically done nothing wrong by breaking their word to both players. Also, there's little reason to feel sorry for Buehrle and Reyes when they could have taken a little less money elsewhere for more security. But with all of that said, it has become increasingly apparent that the Marlins conduct their business very poorly at basically every turn.
The damage they have done to their image is immense, and at some point it will become irreparable. That's something they better be concerned about, too, because not only will they struggle to recruit future free agents, there are players still under their control who are angry, and those relationships will need to be repaired quickly if they intend on doing long-term business with them.
Of course the biggest name that comes to mind in that respect is Giancarlo Stanton. In the midst of the early reports on Tuesday, he offered a lone, simply-stated tweet that highlighted his disappointed and frustration.
Not that we really needed Stanton to explain why he was irritated about Buehrle, Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck being shipped to the Blue Jays, or why he continues to feel that way several days later, but he elected to do so anyway in an interview MLB.com's Peter Gammons.
Here a few of the highlights:
"I do not like this at all," Stanton said. "This is the 'winning philosophy?' Then to say it's not about money? What is the motivation? There comes a breaking point. I know how I feel. I can't imagine how the city and the fans feel."
"They talked about that, a winning philosophy, and how they were building a winner to play in the new ballpark," Stanton said. "They talked about me and Jose. They talked about how they'd have Jose and [Emilio Bonifacio] and Hanley [Ramirez] in front of me and how they would go get a bat to protect me.
"Jose, Bonifacio, Hanley ... all three are gone now. I had people warn me that something like this could happen, but it runs against the competitive nature every athlete has, that nature that everything is about winning. This kind of thing is what gets talked about all the time around this team. Former Marlins come back and they warn us. It gets talked about during the stretch, in the clubhouse, after games, on the road. Again, I do not like this at all."
Yeah, about that image issue I mentioned earlier. Lots of luck to Jeffrey Loria, David Samson and the rest of Miami's brass as they attempt to erase them from Mr Stanton's memory before he submits his arbitration salary next winter.