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Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said he was “just trying to make a statement” Thursday.
He did so in a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, asking baseball’s top leader to review Tuesday’s massive trade in which the Miami Marlins sent five starters to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package of minor leaguers and spare parts.
Regalado also sent a message to Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.
"You have to do your part, the city and the county did their part, so he has to do his part,” Regalado told NBC 6 South Florida.
Asked what that would be, Regalado responded, “That part would be to have a team that is competitive, to have a team that the fans are not complaining about."
The trade will save the Marlins $160 million in payroll over the next five years – and follows a last-place inaugural season in Marlins Park, which was built mostly with public funds.
The mayor said he “was hoping that a letter from government would make him think twice” about approving the trade – and Selig said he is.
"I have this entire matter under thorough review,” he said Thursday at the MLB owners’ meetings in suburban Chicago.
Loria was seen in the lobby at the hotel where the owners’ meetings are being held but did not make himself available to media.
Loria declined to talk with reporters as he passed through the lobby on Wednesday.
“Not today, boys," he said. "If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not going to figure it out for you."
The stadium deal was perceived to be such a bad deal for taxpayers, it led to the recall of former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez.
"I think every time that the team or its management makes a move that looks like it's driven by profit, I think it's a slap in the face to the citizens of this community who have invested the lion's share amount towards that stadium,” said Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who co-chaired the recall effort. “And as we all know, after the deal was done, we all learned that they were not as impoverished as they were claiming to be."