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November 13. 2012 10:52PM

Reports say Marlins close to dealing Reyes, Josh Johnson, Buehrle to Jays

Baseball's hot stove talk may soon be stoked with a fire sale. Multiple news outlets reported Tuesday the Miami Marlins are preparing to send shortstop Jose Reyes, pitcher Josh Johnson and three other high-priced players to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays also would get pitcher Mark Buehrle, catcher John Buck and center fielder Emilio Bonifacio. In return, the Marlins would get shortstop Yunel Escobar and prospects infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, left-hander Justin Nicolino outfielder Jake Marisnick.

Hechavarria spent parts of both the 2010 and 2011 seasons in Manchester. In 2010 he hit .273 in 61 games and in 2011 he batted .235 in 111 games. Alvarez pitched in 15 games for the Fisher Cats in 2011 before moving to Toronto in 2012. Marisnick was with Manchester for 55 games last season, during which he hit .233 with two home runs and 14 stolen bases.

The Marlins started last season with a $95 million payroll after signing three big-name free agents last winter -- Reyes, Buehrle and closer Heath Bell - and hiring Ozzie Guillen as manager entering the first year of a publicly funded stadium.

However, the Marlins finished last in the National League East division with a 69-93 record, 29 games behind division winner Washington.

They have traded third baseman Hanley Ramirez in July to the Los Angeles Dodgers, fired Guillen on Oct. 23 and traded Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks last month.

The deal also would set up the Blue Jays as one of the favorites in the highly competitive American League East. Last season they finished 73-89, 22 games behind the division champion New York Yankees.

Reyes, one of the most sought-after free agents last season, had a disappointing 2012. He hit .287 with 40 stolen bases and 57 RBIs. Buehrle was 13-13 last season with a team-leading 3.74 ERA while Johnson went 8-13 with a 3.81 ERA and 165 strikeouts.

Escobar hit .253 last season with 51 RBIs and nine home runs.


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