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Former Miami Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle issued a statement Wednesday confirming multiple reports in the wake of last week's trade that the Marlins had previously assured him he would not be dealt. "I was lied to on multiple occasions," Buehrle's statement read.
When the Marlins signed Buehrle to a four-year deal last winter, he was not given a no-trade clause in his contract, as the team rather notoriously never gives out no-trade clauses. He was, however, told that he would not be traded by Marlins management.
Buehrle, along with four other Marlins, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package of minor league prospects and other players. The move was an attempt by the Marlins to clear over $160 million in future payroll of its books and restock the team's thin farm system.
"I'm upset with how things turned out in Miami," Buehrle's statement read. "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."
In his only season in Miami, Buehrle went 13-13 with a 3.74 ERA over 202.1 innings.
Buehrle's agent, Jeff Berry, also issued a statement regarding the Marlins' promises to his client. "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."
Additionally, the Miami Herald confirmed Wednesday that shortstop Jose Reyes (who was also dealt to Toronto) received a similar no-trade assurance. Agent Chris Leible told the Herald, "[Reyes] was told many times he wasn’t going anywhere."
Even though the Marlins deserve little sympathy following the latest fire sale, it is difficult to feel to sad for Reyes or Buehrle. Both signed with the team because Miami was offering the most money, and they had a chance to demand a no-trade clause. Indeed, both players had other offers on the table, presumably from teams that are more willing to include such a clause.
The Marlins' history, as well as Jeffrey Loria's reputation as an owner willing to trade any player on his roster, should have been warning enough that he could easily change his mind, assurances to the contrary.