There’s even a chance they could end up flipping Yunel Escobar, who was among the seven players the Blue Jays sent to the Marlins in Tuesday’s megadeal. The Marlins intend to make Adeiny Hechavarria their shortstop and move Escobar to third — a la Hanley Ramirez — if they don’t end up trading him first.
While many fans are understandably angry over what represents the third major fire sale for the Marlins in the past 15 years, there are those in the sport who believe that, from a purely baseball standpoint, the trade was a good one for both teams.
“I know 99 percent of the people are pounding the Marlins right now,” ESPN analyst Jim Bowden said. “But, if you break it down, it makes sense baseball-wise. When you break down the baseball part of it, they did a lot better than people think.”
Bowden said Johnson, who is entering the final year of his contract, is an injury concern while Buehrle, who is due to receive $47 million over the final three years of his deal, will be turning 34 in March.
“If Johnson goes out next year and his shoulder blows out, you’re not getting anything for him. Zero,” Bowden said. “So there’s risk there. [With Buehrle], it’s a scary thought to have all that money on the books right now at his age. You might not be able to trade either one if you don’t [trade] now. You’re going to get more [for them] today than you’re ever going to get down the road.”
But Bowden said the Marlins will now have a hard time luring free agents after trading all three of the big names — Buehrle, Reyes and Heath Bell — that they landed last year.
“It looks bad, and everybody is going to rip them,” Bowden said. “But I don’t think this was their plan ahead of time. I think it’s the backup plan. They looked at the situation and said ‘Boy, did we screw up. Let’s get these guys off the books.’ ”
• The Marlins on Wednesday claimed left-handed reliever Scott Maine off waivers from the Blue Jays. The former University of Miami player has compiled a mark of 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA in 50 relief appearances spread over three seasons with the Cubs and Indians.
Maine, 27, is expected to compete for a bullpen spot in spring training.