MIAMI – Numerous Miami Marlins fans who bought into the club’s all-in approach last offseason felt deceived when Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes were dumped in Monday’s mega-deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Buehrle and Reyes feel no less bamboozled after being traded one season into multiyear, free- agent contracts.
Buehrle in a statement said: “I’m upset with how things turned out in Miami. Just like the fans in south Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I’m putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career.”
The Marlins moved Buehrle with three years and $48 million in base salary left on his deal. Reyes is owed $92 million in base salary over the next five years.
Jeff Berry, co-head of CAA Baseball and Buehrle’s agent, added: “In an off-season of change and uncertainty, the overriding factor in Mark’s signing with Miami was Ozzie Guillen and the level of comfort his presence provided Mark and his family. While the Marlins were the highest bidder, baseball had already made Mark a wealthy man, so money was far from the most important factor in his decision. Throughout the recruiting process, the Marlins made repeated assurances about their long-term commitment to Mark and his family, and their long-term commitment to building a winning tradition of Marlins baseball in the new stadium. This was demonstrated by their already completed signings of Ozzie, Heath Bell and Jose Reyes.
“At the same time, given the Marlins’ history, we were all certainly aware of and voiced concern about the lack of no-trade protection. This is unquestionably a business, and signing with the Marlins was a calculated risk. Mark held up his end of the bargain; unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the Marlins. That said, Mark is a consummate professional and is looking forward to joining his new teammates in Toronto.”
Chris Leible, one of Reyes’ agents, said his client was, “More surprised than anything else. He didn’t see that one coming but he understands it’s part of the game.”
Like Buehrle, both Reyes and his representatives repeatedly were told during the season he wouldn’t be traded.
Asked about any verbal pacts the Marlins made with the two players, the president of baseball operations, Larry Beinfest, said: “Speaking for myself, I’m not aware of any assurances. I will tell you if they came from me they would be in writing in a no-trade clause. I can’t speak to it other than I’m not aware of it. Generally with these types of deals, when you’re talking about the money and with the sophistication of agents today, most everything that is pertinent is in writing.”
Beinfest acknowledged that the Marlins may have some difficulty attracting future free agents.
This front office since 2003 has signed 11 players to deals of three or more seasons and the only one that hasn’t been traded is Ricky Nolasco.
Yet Beinfest is not prepared to recommend the club change its policy of not giving no-trade clauses.
“I understand there may be some disdain in the marketplace,” Beinfest said.
“We won’t know until we get into those negotiations with free agents or until we show over a sustained period of time that we operate in a certain manner. It’s definitely not great for the club and we’re going to have to deal with it.”
WHITE SOX: Chicago agreed to a one-year, $700,000 contract with outfielder Dwayne Wise.
Wise, 34, joined Chicago as a free agent Aug. 3. He is a career .228 hitter with 30 home runs and 112 RBI in 546 games over 10 seasons with Toronto, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Florida and the New York Yankees in addition to the White Sox.
Wise preserved Mark Buehrle’s 2009 perfect game against Tampa Bay when he made an over-the-wall catch to stop a home run in the ninth inning.
FRANK PASTORE, a former major league baseball pitcher-turned-Christian radio personality, was critically injured in a California freeway motorcycle crash.
Pastore, 55, was a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds from 1979 until 1985 and for the Minnesota Twins in 1986.
The California Highway Patrol said a car collided with Pastore’s motorcycle and he was ejected on Interstate 210 in Duarte, about 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. He was found unconscious on the freeway Monday night.
A Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center spokeswoman said Pastore remains in critical condition.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune said Pastore was on his way home from work at radio station KKLA at the time of the crash.