Miami – MLB baseball commissioner Bud Selig has finalized the massive salary dumping trade made by Miami Marlins' owner Jeffrey Loria.
The controversial move sends the Marlins All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes to the Toronto Blue Jays with pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, catcher John Buck and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio for seven relatively low-priced players.
Miami received infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino, catcher Jeff Mathis and outfielder Jake Marisnick under the deal, which was agreed to last week and completed Monday. The Marlins also are sending Toronto cash.
The trade was made official when Selig decided not to block it.
"This transaction, involving established major leaguers and highly regarded young players and prospects, represents the exercise of plausible baseball judgment on the part of both clubs (and) does not violate any express rule of Major League Baseball and does not otherwise warrant the exercise of any of my powers to prevent its completion," Selig said in a statement.
"It is, of course, up to the clubs involved to make the case to their respective fans that this transaction makes sense and enhances the competitive position of each, now or in the future."
The players traded by the Marlins have combined guaranteed salaries of $163.75 million through 2018, including $96 million due Reyes.
The net coming off the Marlins' books is $154 million, which does not account for the cash involved in the trade.
Since flopping during the first half of their first season at their new ballpark, the Marlins also have traded former NL batting champion Hanley Ramirez, second baseman Omar Infante, right-hander Anibal Sanchez and closer Heath Bell.
The Marlins have been criticized for jettisoning veterans after moving into a ballpark largely funded by public money.
"I am sensitive to the concerns of the fans of Miami regarding this trade, and I understand the reactions I have heard," Selig said.
"Baseball is a social institution with important social responsibilities and I fully understand that the Miami community has done its part to put the Marlins into a position to succeed with beautiful new Marlins Park. Going forward, I will continue to monitor this situation with the expectation that the Marlins will take into account the sentiments of their fans, who deserve the best efforts and considered judgment of their club. I have received assurances from the ownership of the Marlins that they share these beliefs and are fully committed to build a long-term winning team that their fans can be proud of."
Just last week Ysbel Medina, a local business owner in the Little Havana neighborhood surrounding Marlins' Park told Fox News Latino he felt misled by the Loria.
"If I would have known that the owner was going to do what he did, I probably wouldn't have opened up the business," Medina said while adding that maybe the Marlins would be better off with owners that actually cared about winning baseball games and not getting rich from it.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.