We all knew that the Toronto Blue Jays annexing the Miami Marlins was morally despicable on the part of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, but we expected it to go through. Now, could the commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig put a stop to it? According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the trade is now "under review" by Selig.
Nightengale also added, "Selig feels for the Marlins fans and will take everything in consideration before making decision".
While Selig may feel for the Marlins fans, the rules may not allow for Selig to block a trade. Once the commissioner starts deciding who can trade players and when, it severely inhibits the ability of teams to build their franchises. That is a dangerous route to go down.
What Selig could do instead is to make sure that owners such as Jeffrey Loria have no business in Major League Baseball. After explaining to CBS's Jon Heyman why the Marlins "needed a new course", Loria said that he has no intention to sell the team:
"Absolutely not," Loria said. "That's more stupidity."
Of course it would be stupid to sell the team when he can bring in $56 million next year from national and local broadcasts and spend just just a small percentage of that on player payroll. If indeed Ricky Nolasco is traded, even keeping the second highest-paid player Greg Dobbs on board, the Marlins 25 man roster would be around $14-15 million in salary next year.
If Selig wants to respond, he could mandate that at minimum, teams must spend guaranteed revenues from broadcating on player salaries. Then, Loria would have to try.
While a complete and utter moral disgrace, this trade is going to have to go through. But please don't let this continue to happen, Mr. Commisioner.