It has happened again!
Last season 500 Level Fan was able to obtain exclusive audio recordings of the Blue Jays clubhouse on a number of occasions, starting in late-April.
Now, a few months later, we have once again been made privy to history.
500 Level Fan has obtained an exclusive leaked audio recording of the trade call between Alex Anthopoulos and the Miami Marlins during the negotiations of the blockbuster trade that went down between the two clubs in November.
The content has been transcribed below. Remember, this is genuine and authentic. Really. For real.
Date: November 12, 2012
[Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos and President Paul Beeston are sitting in a board room at the Rogers Centre]
[AA puts the phone on speaker, and dials the number of Miami Marlins GM Michael Hill]
Marlins Owner and CEO Jeffrey Loria: Hello?
AA: Hi Michael? This is Alex Anthopoulos of the Toronto Blue Jays. How are you?
Loria: Actually Alex, this is Jeffrey Loria of the Marlins. How can I help you?
AA: Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Loria. I was trying to reach Mr. Hill to discuss a potential trade between our clubs. I must have dialled the wrong number.
Loria: No, no. You didn’t. It’s team policy that all executives have their cell phones forwarded to me since I am ultimately in control of the team. Nothing gets done without my blessing, you see. Absolutely nothing.
[Anthopoulos and Beeston, who has just lit a cigar, give each other a puzzled look]
AA: Ok. I guess so.
Loria: So how can I help you? You mentioned the word trade. Before you go any further Mr. Allopollus, let me say that I’ve heard of your reputation as a sneaky trade partner, and you won’t be able to trick me into any unsavoury deals.
AA: It’s actually Anthopoulos, and I assure you Mr. Loria that I have no intention of “tricking” you, or of “tricking” anybody that I do business with.
Loria: Well, we’ll see now won’t we. What’s on your mind Alex? I’m listening.
AA: Well sir, I’m not sure how much you followed our team last year, but as you might be aware we encountered some pitching issues. A lot of our young arms went down with injury, so we are looking to add rotation depth. I’m sure you’ve heard rumours through the media over the past several months that we have been interested in Josh Johnson. I can tell you today that those rumours are indeed true. We would like to talk to you about bringing Josh to Toronto.
Loria: You don’t have to tell me about your team – I am a baseball fan on top of being an intelligent baseball owner. I know all about your struggles last year. You should know Mr. Anthollus, that nobody on our team is untouchable. However, a pitcher like Josh Johnson is a key member of our organization. To part with him we would require impact young talent in return.
AA: Well Mr. Loria, our minor league system is one of the best in baseball, so I’m sure we can work something out.
Loria: Well, yes I believe we can. There are two players in your system that my partners in the front office and I have had our eyes on for a while. Any conversation about moving Josh Johnson must start with these two kids: Jack Mariner and Justin Nicholson.
[Beeston, lighting a second cigar, looks at Anthopoulos with a blank stare. AA shrugs his shoulders with a puzzled look on his face]
AA: I’m sorry Mr. Loria, can you repeat those names for us?
Loria: You have a young outfielder currently in double-A by the name of Mariner, and a solid power arm in single-A named Nicholson do you not?
Beeston [as an aside to AA]: He must be referring to Marisnick and Nicolino, no?
AA: Do you mean Jake Marisnick and Justin Nicolino?
Loria: That is exactly what I said isn’t it?
AA: Of course, of course. Well, just like you mentioned earlier, we don’t have many untouchables in our organization either. But I have to tell you – Marisnick and Nicolino are two of our very best and brightest prospects. For us to give them up for a pitcher like Johnson, who – as great as he is – does come with some injury concerns, is an awful lot. Unless, of course, you are willing to throw in another pitcher,…..say, maybe, Mark Buehrle?
Loria: Buehrle huh? We just signed him to a contract last winter! What kind of message would that send to our players and fans?
AA: I would think it would tell them that you are serious about turning your team around, that there is no place for an aging, expensive pitcher on a young and exciting team.
[Upon hearing this, Beeston, lighting his third cigar, smiles and shakes his head]
Loria: You may be right. Regardless, if you want Mark I’m going to need more in return from you. There are two other players that we are very keen on here in Miami. You have a young Cuban infielder who would go over very well with our large Cuban population here in Miami. So if you want Buehrle, we would need Adrian Hectavia back to shore up our infield. And we also want an outfielder, Anthony Goss.
AA [to Beeston while pressing mute on the phone so Loria can’t hear]: Is this guy for real? He doesn’t know anybody’s name? Seriously?
Beeston [lighting his fourth cigar]: I told you kid, he thinks he’s smarter than he is. In reality he’s just a f***ing idiot!
AA [winking to Beeston]: Let’s see if this works. [he un-mutes the phone] Well Mr. Loria, that is a stiff price to pay, but how about I do you one better. You have a lot of Cubans in your market, is that correct?
AA: Well, what if I tell you that we can ship you a major league player from our roster – not a prospect who risks not panning out as expected – but a solid contributor at the major league level. Not only that, he is a Cuban born player. And, to top it all off, he is a man with an impeccable reputation and upstanding morals.
Loria: I’m listening.
AA: I’m talking about our shortstop, Yunel Escobar. Instead of Anthony Gose, you would get Hechavarria and Escobar, two versatile Cubans who would fit right in to your market. Is that something you might be interested in?
Loria: Absolutely! But is there a catch?
AA: Well, the catch Mr. Loria, is that if we send you both Hechavarria and Escobar, that leaves us without a shortstop. Which means, in turn, that we would like you to send us your shortstop, Jose Reyes.
[Beeston, puffing furiously on his fourth cigar, raises his eyebrows and nods vigorously at Anthopoulous. Anthopoulos gives him a thumbs-up]
Loria: You want Reyes? You actually want that bum? When I signed him to that big contract last year I was told we were getting 20 home runs, 80 stolen bases, a .340 average, and exceptional defence. You know what we got Mr. Popadopoulos? NOTHING NEAR THOSE NUMBERS!!! He is a bust as far as I’m concerned, and if you agree to pay his salary, you can have him!
[Beeston spins his chair in joy while pulling a fifth cigar out of a case]
Beeston [to AA]: Try for Stanton! This guy doesn’t have a clue!!
AA: I’m more than happy with how this call is going Jeffrey. I’ve heard from many people that you are a fair man and a baseball scholar. I can see that they are all right. Now, what your thoughts are to including Giancarlo Stanton as part of this deal?
AA: Giancarlo Stanton.
Loria: Huh? Never heard of him.
[AA and Beeston exchange puzzled looks]
AA: Stanton. He went by the name Mike Stanton until last season.
Loria: Oh, Mike. I know who you mean. I don’t know who this Giancarlo character is, but I know Mike.
[Beeston starts coughing as he tries to stifle laughter]
Loria: Stanton is a potential future MVP. The only way I can give up him is if we get an MVP in return. I know for a fact that your franchise has had three MVP winners. The bottom line is this: I want two of them for Stanton.
[AA and Beeston are bewildered. Both have looks of mass confusion.]
AA: Umm…I’m not sure who you are referring to Mr. Loria.
Loria: Don’t give me any of that nonsense! I know they call you a ninja or something like that, but you aren’t going to ninja me! I want two of your MVP winners: George Bell, Pat Borders, or Paul Molitor. Two of them or no Stanton.
[Beeston gets up and leaves the room. Howling laughter is heard from the hallway. He returns with a red face and a scotch]
AA [trying his hardest to keep a straight face]: I’m afraid we can’t do that for you Mr. Loria. I’m so-mmm hmmm-orry.
Loria: Too bad. That’s too bad indeed.
[A few minutes go by where Emilio Bonifacio, Anthony DeSclafani, and Henderson Alvarez are added to the trade]
AA: So do we have a deal?
Loria: Actually, there is one final piece I would like to discuss. I understand that your team has a young, power hitting catcher. I have heard nothing but good things about this young kid. He is a great defender, has an incredible catcher’s ERA, tremendous power, and will hit for a high average. It’s no secret that our catcher, John Buck, is not performing at a level equal to his contract. I want your young catcher. You take Buck and a few million dollars to compensate for his salary, and we can finalize this trade.
AA [to Beeston with the phone on mute]: Sh*t Paul. He wants d’Arnaud. He’s been playing us the whole time to get us to give up Travis.
Beeston: This is your team Alex. It’s up to you.
AA [un-muting the phone]: I’m sorry Mr. Loria. We might need some more time to think it over. Travis d’Arnaud is somebody we are pretty high on.
Loria: Who the hell is Travis Dorno? Do you really think I’d ask for a player nobody has ever heard of in a deal of this magnitude? Of course not. I’m talking about Jeff Mathis. He’s either in or this deal is off the table.
[Beeston spits his scotch onto the floor and drops his latest lit cigar. A loud clutter is heard as Anthopoulos falls off his chair. Both men are stunned. There is silence.]
Loria: Hello? Hello?
AA: Yes sir, I’m here. Just….stunned. We’ll have to think about this. We just signed Mathis to a new deal and he is an integral part of our club. Let me call you back tomorrow morning.
Loria: OK, deal.
[AA hangs up the phone]
Beeston: Are you really going to kill this deal for Mathis?
AA: Are you f***ing kidding me? No f***ing way!!!! Ha ha!!!
Postscript: The final trade of Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, and Anthony DeScalfini to Miami and Jose Reyes, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and $8.5-million to Toronto was finalized the next day, and officially approved by MLB on November 19th.