Baseball's hot stove talk may soon be stoked with a firesale. Multiple news outlets reported Tuesday the Miami Marlins are preparing to send shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle and two other players to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays also would get catcher John Buck and center fielder Emilio Bonifacio. In return, the Marlins would get shortstop Yunel Escobar, catcher Jeff Mathis, right-hander Henderson Alvarez and four prospects: infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, left-hander Justin Nicolino, outfielder Jake Marisnick and right-hander Anthony DeSclafani.
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.
Buck hit .192 with 12 homers and 41 RBI in 106 games for Miami this year.
Bonifacio batted .258/.330/.316 with one homer and 11 RBI in 64 games with the Marlins last season. He has seen extensive major league action at second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions.
Escobar hit .253 last season with 51 RBIs and nine home runs. Mathis batted .219 with eight homers and 27 RBI in 71 games during his first season with Toronto after seven years with the Los Angeles Angels. Alvarez, 22, finished 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA in 31 starts for Toronto last season.