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Marlins net three top Jays prospects11/13/2012 8:45 PM ET
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
In what could turn out to be one of the largest offseason deals of the past decade, the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays reportedly agreed Tuesday to swap at least 10 players in a blockbuster trade.
The Marlins are expected to land a prospect-laden package featuring three of the Blue Jays' top seven prospects: Outfielder Jake Marisnick, left-handed pitcher Justin Nicolino and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. They also will receive big leaguers Yunel Escobar and starter Henderson Alvarez, according to Fox Sports.
In return, the Blue Jays will reportedly acquire All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, utilityman Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck in what is seen as a salary dump and an 180-degree turn from a lavish spending spree 12 months ago.
As of 8:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the trade was awaiting commissioner Bud Selig's approval. Neither team has confirmed or denied the trade.
No. 2 on Toronto's prospect list, Marisnick is the highest-ranked of the Minor Leaguers on the move.
The 21-year-old -- a third-round pick from the 2009 Draft -- hit .249 with eight homers and 50 RBIs in 120 games between the Class A Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays and the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats this year. The center fielder also hit 29 doubles and 10 triples, and he swiped 24 bases in 33 attempts.
MLB.com's No. 35 prospect Marisnick had a breakout year with the Lugnuts in 2011, batting .320 with 14 homers, 77 RBIs and 37 stolen bases. He was named as a mid- and postseason Midwest League All-Star, and MiLB.com chose him as one of the Blue Jays' top-performing outfielders in the organization.
Nicolino, fifth on Toronto's Top 20 prospects list, was a second-round selection in the 2010 Draft. The 20-year-old southpaw went 10-4 with a 2.46 ERA in 28 games -- including 22 starts -- with the Lansing Lugnuts of the Class A Midwest League in 2012, his first full season of pro ball.
The Florida native spent a large part of the season piggybacking with Aaron Sanchez -- but he was a mid- and postseason All-Star, and Topps also named him their Midwest League Player of the Year.
Vince Horsman, the Blue Jays' Class A pitching coach, said earlier in the year that Nicolino has the best changeup in the system and the best breaking ball command of any of Toronto's top pitching prospects.
Earlier Tuesday evening, Nicolino thanked the Blue Jays and said he was looking forward to being part of the Marlins organization.
"Couldn't have ask to be apart of a great group of people...but now it's a new chapter," Nicolino said on his Twitter account @J_Nicolino22.
In Hechavarria, formerly the Blue Jays' No. 7 prospect, Miami gets a sure-handed shortstop who saw time in the Majors this season.
The 23-year-old Cuban, rated as the best defensive infielder in the system by Baseball America in 2010, batted .312 with six homers and 63 RBIs in 102 Triple-A games with the Las Vegas 51s this year. He also legged out six triples and 20 doubles, and he scored 78 runs. Following a promotion to Toronto, Hechavarria hit .254 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 41 games.
The move is expected to slash around $160 million from Miami's payroll.