Miami Marlins Raise Ethical Issues by Reportedly Breaking No-Trade Promises

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2012

It turns out those despondent Miami Marlins fans feeling betrayed have company.

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, both shortstop Jose Reyes and pitcher Mark Buehrle are angry with the franchise after being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Though nothing was formally in writing, Rosenthal is reporting that both men had a verbal agreement with the Marlins that said they would not be traded.

Via Fox Sports:

Shortstop Jose Reyes and left-hander Mark Buehrle, two of the five Marlins headed to Toronto in a pending blockbuster, are upset that the team broke verbal promises to them regarding trades, according to major-league sources.

As it stands, the Marlins have a team policy against no-trade clauses, so they were not contractually obligated to keep the two players. Nevertheless, this opens up yet another can of ethical issues in a week full of them for Miami owner Jeffrey Loria. 

First and foremost, Reyes' and Buehrle's frustration cannot come as a surprise. Supposedly acquired to usher in a new era of Miami baseball, the stars were exiled to Toronto on Tuesday after just one disappointing season.

While it's easy to understand Reyes' and Buehrle's perspective and to vilify Loria, it's also a little hard to feel sorry for either player. Both men took above-their-worth contracts from a desperate franchise looking to make a splash.

That splash wound up being a season filled to the brim with disappointment. The high-priced team went just 69-93, drew mediocre attendance that ranked 18th in Major League Baseball and featured a manager who started his tenure with mass controversy.


If you're looking for a reason this roster is depleted, look no further than those three areas. 

Let's also not act like Reyes and Buehrle are wide-eyed schoolchildren who had no idea whom they were getting involved with. The Marlins have gone on one-year spending sprees followed by roster purges in the past, most notably after winning the World Series in 1997. 

While that was with a different ownership group, it goes without saying that Loria's time with the Montreal Expos speaks for itself. 

The lesson here, as always, is to get exactly what you want in writing. If Reyes and Buehrle loved Miami so much and wanted to stay for the duration of their contract, they should have told their agents to refuse to sign until a no-trade clause was added.

Instead, the Marlins were in no way obligated to keep their word, they didn't, and now we have one of the uglier messes in recent baseball history on our hands. 

In Loria's business dealings, evidently, spoken promises can be broken. It seems that Marlins fans, the city of Miami and these two players are just finding that out the hard way.