The Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays are on the verge of providing the first shocker of the MLB offseason. The reported 12-player trade would not only have a major impact on the teams involved, but a trickle-down effect would be felt throughout the league.
Paul Hagen of MLB.com reports commissioner Bud Selig is still reviewing the deal, which would send Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to Toronto in exchange for a prospect-heavy package.
Assuming the trade gets passed—Selig's comments in Hagen's report do nothing to suggest a veto is likely—it will take a lot of coveted trade chips off the table.
Teams that were interested will have to seek out other trade partners or dive into the free-agent market.
For example, Rob Bradford of WEEI states the Boston Red Sox were also involved in discussions for Reyes and Johnson with hopes of bolstering their roster after a disappointing season.
Now it looks like those players will head to a division rival instead.
As the saying goes, "Where there's smoke, there's fire."
If the AL East rivals were both involved in talks to land the pieces Miami decided to trade away, it's safe to assume the team was fielding calls from other interested teams as well.
Not just for Reyes, one of the league's most exciting players when healthy, and Johnson, who still has ace potential. Every player the Marlins are likely sending Toronto's way has value on the trade market.
Buehrle is a reliable veteran starter capable of helping a lot of teams fill a hole in their rotation. Bonifacio is a versatile player with speed—something teams are always looking for. And Buck is a catcher who hit 20 home runs during a stint with the Blue Jays in 2010.
That's five potential voids that could have been filled around the league off the market in one trade.
While the Blue Jays certainly get a lot better and give themselves at least a puncher's chance in the stacked AL East, other teams are left scrambling.
Furthermore, it sets the market price on trades.
The overwhelming opinion is that the Marlins didn't get enough back for the package they traded, but the team would argue it cleared a lot of salary and got some talented prospects.
Teams that go searching for similar value elsewhere in the market are likely going to end up disappointed. The Blue Jays were handed a golden opportunity to overhaul their roster and jumped at it.
Others probably won't be as lucky.
The players most happy about the deal are probably the free agents. By putting a big dent in the talent available via trade, their agents figure to see an uptick in calls in the coming days as more teams begin to explore other options.
Not just the elite players, either.
Mid-range options like Marco Scutaro, Kelly Shoppach and Shaun Marcum should benefit because a couple players that could have filled their roles via trade are now unavailable.
Combine all of those factors, and it's shaping up to be a pretty expensive offseason.
The entire league is going to feel the impact of a single move, showing exactly how important the proposed deal is.
That explains why Selig is taking a little extra time before making his decision.
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