It must be a weird feeling to be among the group of Miami Marlins that was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week.
On one hand, they're escaping a weird situation with Jeffrey Loria that would have left them languishing at the bottom of the NL East for the next few years.
On the other, the move toward a more competitive situation in the AL East isn't without its drawbacks. The weather in Toronto is much worse than Miami, Mark Buehrle still can't find a good living situation with his dog and, oh yeah, the days of living in state income tax-free Florida are long gone. According to one source, Jose Reyes' move to the Canadian team could cost the shortstop an additional $8 million over the life of his $100 million contract.
Jose Reyes' income tax bill could surge by $8 million during the next six years if his trade to the Toronto Blue Jays goes through, according to accounting firm EisnerAmper LLP .... The four-time All-Star's contract requires payments of $10 million in 2013, $16 million in 2014, $22 million in each of the next three years and $4 million in 2018 ...
"If all the above facts remain the same over the remaining term of the 2011 Marlins contract, and Reyes became a Florida resident and remained with the Marlins, he would have saved nearly $8 million in total income tax," the accountants said.
But, hey, free health care!
[Related: Blockbuster trade makes Blue Jays relevant]
Look, it is impossible to feel bad for any of these players and their increased tax bills. Not when those bills are much more than most of us will ever make in our lifetimes and not when they happily grabbed Loria's money last offseason without pushing for a no-trade clause.
It does, however, underline the genius of Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos. While the higher Canadian tax rates can be a barrier in attracting top free-agent talent, he opted for the best loophole to funnel in the talent his team needed.
At the same time, it's also worth noting that such opportunities may not exist in the future. Don't think for a minute that agents won't wave Reyes' tax bill in their clients' faces if they ever think about not settling for a big contract that doesn't include a no-trade clause.
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