|Bud Selig's ruling makes it official: These guys are now Toronto Blue Jays. (US Presswire)|
MLB commissioner Bud Selig released a statement on Monday confirming what many suspected: He will not overrule or amend the recent controversial 12-player blockbuster between the Marlins and Blue Jays.
You'll recall that the Marlins sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio and cash to the Blue Jays in exchange for a package primarily consisting of prospects. The trade was almost universally panned as constituting bad faith on the part of the Marlins, who are coming off their first season in a new, almost wholly publicly financed ballpark. The trade all but buries the Marlins for at least the 2013 season but positions Toronto as a certifiable contender.
Here's Selig's statement in full:
"Since Tuesday, I have carefully reviewed the proposed transaction between the Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays. I asked our Baseball Operations Department and our Labor Relations Department to compare this proposed transaction with similar deals. I also consulted with experienced baseball operations executives to get their input regarding the talent involved in this transaction.
"After a thorough examination of this information, it is my conclusion that 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, 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. 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.
"I am sensitive to the concerns of the fans of Miami regarding this trade, and I understand the reactions I have heard since Tuesday. 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."
At a certain level, what could Selig really do? After all, he floated Loria a loan to buy the Marlins after he ran the Expos into the ground. Loria's baseball malfeasances are in large part a creation of Selig. What unfolded in recent days has been entirely in keeping with Loria's M.O. to date.
In any event, you can breathe now, Jays fans: the trade of the century is now official.
Meanwhile, in addition to the trade, the Marlins also announced their signing of Juan Pierre. The team's release featured this inspirational message from owner Jeffrey Loria:
“We've finished in last place the past two years, and that is unacceptable to our fans, to us as an organization, and to me,” said Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria. “We want to get back to our winning ways, and we want a winning baseball team for our fans. It's incumbent on us to make the changes necessary to make us a winner again.”“It may not happen overnight,” he added. “But with the players we acquired in the second half of last season, coupled with the infusion of players we are acquiring now, we will be returning to Marlins Baseball: high energy and hungry.”