Early into the 2012/2013 offseason, it had been a quiet front for the Toronto Blue Jays. General manager Alex Anthopolous had traded reliever Esmil Rogers to Cleveland in exchange for catcher Yan Gomes and outfielder Mike Aviles while also acquiring reliever Jeremy Jeffress from the Kansas City Royals. Signing-wise, infielder Maizer Izturis was the biggest signing so far for the club.
The offseason would take a dramatic turn on November 19th, 2012, as the Blue Jays and the Marlins would officially make one of the biggest trades of the winter (and in Blue Jays history). The deal had been announced earlier in the week (Nov/13) but required approval from the league, which Commissioner Bud Selig would approve on this day.
The entire deal was as follows:
Blue Jays acquire: 2B Emilio Bonifácio / C John Buck / LHP Mark Buehrle / RHP Josh Johnson / SS Jose Reyes
Miami Marlins acquire: SS Yunel Escobar / SS Adeiny Hechavarria / C Jeff Mathis / OF Jake Marisnick / RHP Henderson Álvarez / RHP Anthony DeSclafani / LHP Justin Nicolino
The deal for the Blue Jays was simply leveraging their prospect pool into big-league talent, strictly acquiring veteran players in the trade while sending a majority of prospects the other way. At the time of the trade, a majority of the players heading to Miami were ranked in the Blue Jays top prospect list, including Marisnick (3rd), Nicolino (6th), and Hechavarria (16th). Álvarez made his big league debut in 2011 and spent the entire 2012 season in the Jays rotation (4.85 ERA through 31 starts) while both Escobar and Mathis had at least six seasons under their belt at the time of the trade.
Looking at the Toronto Blue Jays side of the deal
Of the trade, Reyes and Buehrle were the biggest names heading to the Blue Jays, as both players had inked long-term deals with the Marlins the offseason prior to the trade.
Reyes spent parts of three seasons with the Blue Jays and amassed a .289/.334/.404 slash line with 23 home runs to the tune of a .738 OPS through 305 games. Defensively, Reyes struggled at shortstop, amassing a -26 DRS with the Blue Jays while committing 41 errors through his Jays tenure. The Dominican product would be traded to the Colorado Rockies at the 2015 trade deadline as part of the Troy Tulowitzki deal.
Southpaw Mark Buerhle was nearing the end of his career after the trade and the Missouri product spent three seasons with Toronto. He pitched to a 3.78 ERA through 604 1/3 innings with a 1.9 BB/9 and a 1.315 WHIP, earning an All-Star nod in 2014. He eclipsed the 200 innings pitched mark two out of the three seasons (finishing at 198 2/3 in 2015) and was a workhorse, leading the league in complete games in 2015 with four. After being left off the playoff roster, Buehrle has never officially retired but kind of snuck out of baseball following that season.
#OTD Eight years ago, the Marlins trade Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio to the Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis, Adeiny Hechavarria, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick and Anthony DeSclafani.#blockbuster pic.twitter.com/c16Ewtjfkq
— Kevin Glew (@coopincanada) November 13, 2020
Rounding out the trade was Bonifácio, Buck, and Johnson, with each player spending just one season with the Jays.
Johnson dealt with numerous injuries throughout the 2013 season, making just 16 starts en route to a 6.20 ERA. After signing with the Padres in the 2013/2014 offseason, Johnson dealt with more injuries and underwent his second Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his career.
Bonifácio was the Blue Jays’ second baseman to start the year but also split time in the outfield before being traded to the Kansas City Royals in mid-August. The switch hitter amassed a .579 OPS with 16 doubles through 262 at-bats before being traded.
Catcher John Buck’s second tenure with the Blue Jays lasted just under a month, as the veteran catcher was traded to the New York Mets as part of the R.A. Dickey trade. He lasted just two more seasons in the big leagues, splitting his time between the Mets, Pirates, Mariners, and Angels before retiring in the spring of 2015.
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Title: This day in MLB History: Commisioner Bud Selig signs off on the Blue Jays and Marlins mega trade
Author: Tyson Shushkewich