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Marlins send big salaries to Jays in megadeal

MIAMI — The Marlins' spending spree a year ago didn't work, so now they're trying another payroll purge.

Rebranded in a new ballpark at the start of 2012, the Marlins were up to their old ways Tuesday, swapping stars for prospects. Miami traded SS Jose Reyes, LHP Mark Buehrle and RHP Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays as part of a blockbuster deal.

Toronto reportedly sent major-league SS Yunel Escobar, RHP Henderson Alvarez and C Jeff Mathis and minor-league SS Adeiny Hechavarria, LHP Justin Nicolino, OF Jake Marisnick and RHP Anthony DeSclafani to Miami.

The deal came less than a year after the Marlins added Reyes, Buehrle and closer Heath Bell in an uncharacteristic $191 million spending binge as they moved into a new ballpark. The acquisitions raised high hopes, but the Marlins instead finished last in the NL East.

The latest salary purge actually began in July, when the Marlins parted with star SS Hanley Ramirez, 2B Omar Infante and RHP Anibal Sanchez, among others. Bell, the team's high-profile bust, was traded to Arizona last month.

Under owner Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins have usually been among baseball's thriftiest teams. Management pledged that would change with the new ballpark, but team officials were disappointed with attendance in 2012, and revenue fell far short of their projections.

Even so, the blockbuster deal came as a shock. The players involved must take physicals before the trade becomes final.

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton tweeted that he was angry about it "Plain & Simple."

The deal gave an immediate boost to the Blue Jays, who finished fourth in the AL East for the fourth straight season.

TOP MANAGERS: Davey Johnson was picked as NL manager of the year after guiding the Nationals to the best record in baseball. Oakland's Bob Melvin won the AL award, beating out Baltimore's Buck Showalter after leading the Athletics to a 20-win improvement and the AL West title.

Marlins send big salaries to Jays in megadeal 11/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:51pm]
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