November 16, 2012

Major League Notebook: Commissioner says blockbuster trade is 'under review'

The Associated Press

ROSEMONT, Ill. - Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday he's examining the pending blockbuster trade that sends at least three of Miami's best players to Toronto for a package of prospects.

Speaking at the end of the owners' meetings, Selig said he also is aware of fan anger in south Florida but will do what's in the best interests of the sport.

"People have different views of that as to what you should do and how you should do it, but I think I've been able to come through all these situations and the sport's been stronger and better as a result," he said, pointing to recent experience with the Rangers and Dodgers going through bankruptcy.

"So when I say I have this matter under review and I've talked to a lot of our people and I've spent a lot of time here in between all the other meetings, that's exactly what I mean. It is under review. I am aware of the anger, I am. I'm also aware that in Toronto they're very happy."

The Blue Jays, who finished fourth in the loaded AL East last season, are bringing in shortstop Jose Reyes, left-hander Mark Buehrle and right-hander Josh Johnson. Selig also said money is going from Miami to Toronto, but didn't offer details and said the trade hadn't been officially presented to his office yet.

Reyes and Buehrle signed lucrative free-agent contracts with the Marlins last offseason, and Johnson has been Miami's best pitcher when healthy.

The Marlins get infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, right-hander Henderson Alvarez and several top prospects, a nice haul but certainly not enough to satisfy a fan base that went through similar rebuilding after the team won the World Series in 1997 and 2003.

"I've talked to two baseball people -- I have a lot of people that I check with and talk to -- who have, actually, an interesting view on the trade." Selig said. "They think that (Miami), in terms of young players, did very well. These are two independent baseball people. These are not chefs in these kitchens.

"So I want to think about all of it and I want to review everything. I want to be my usual painstaking, cautious, slow, conservative self in analyzing it. There's a lot of variables here."

Asked if it's in the best interests of baseball for Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins' owner, to continue to own a franchise, Selig said he wasn't going to comment any further other than saying the trade is under review.

Also Thursday:

Owners approved television deals with ESPN, Turner Sports and Fox worth about $12.4 billion from 2014-21.

Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, said the league still is looking into expanded use of instant replay.

There was no update on the situation in northern California, where Oakland wants to build a ballpark in San Jose, an area that is part of San Francisco's territory.

CUBS: A person familiar with the situation said Chicago agreed on terms of a contract with catcher Dioner Navarro.

Navarro was an All-Star with Tampa Bay in 2008 and spent most of the past season in Cincinnati's minor-league system. He hit .290 in 24 games for the Reds last year.

Pitcher Matt Garza can resume his normal offseason routine after a scan this week showed his pitching elbow is healing as expected.

ATHLETICS: Pitcher Brandon McCarthy is ready for a normal offseason after being medically cleared this week to resume his regular routine, less than three months after being struck in the head by a line drive and undergoing emergency brain surgery.

MARINERS: The team will install the largest scoreboard video screen in the major leagues at Safeco Field during the offseason.

The screen debuting for 2013 will cover the same area as the old scoreboard but the screen itself is nearly 10 times the size of the current one. The viewing area will be the equivalent of about 2,182 42-inch flat-screen TVs.

MANNY RAMIREZ homered on his first pitch of the Dominican winter league season.

Thousands of fans stood and cheered as Ramirez came to bat in the bright yellow jersey of the Eagles, a team from the northern region of Cibao. Ramirez then drove his first pitch over the right-field fence.

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