Blue Jays getting Johnson, Buehrle, Reyes, Buck and Bonifacio in megatrade with Marlins

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UPDATE, 8:58 PM: Olney says the 12-player trade might not be finalized until sometime Wednesday.

UPDATE, 7:49 PM: Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel adds that right-handed prospect Anthony DeSclafani is going to Miami. That’s the final piece of the puzzle. Here’s the breakdown:

BLUE JAYS GET:
SS Jose Reyes
RHP Josh Johnson
LHP Mark Buehrle
INF Emilio Bonifacio
C John Buck
$4 million

MARLINS GET:
SS Yunel Escobar
INF Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Henderson Alvarez
LHP Justin Nicolino
OF Jake Marisnick
RHP Anthony DeSclafani

UPDATE, 7:45 PM: The Marlins will also receive catcher Jeff Mathis from the Blue Jays, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Elliott also says it’ll be a 12-player swap when all is said and done.

UPDATE, 7:34 PM: ESPN’s Keith Law says there is “zero” chance the trade gets nixed by Bud Selig.

UPDATE, 7:20 PM: Rosenthal notes that the trade is “not yet official” because Major League Baseball has not been given all the details. Trades involving money require approval from the commissioner.

UPDATE, 6:58 PM: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Jake Marisnick, a 21-year-old outfield prospect with a .278/.351/.436 career batting line in the minor leagues, will also be joining the Marlins organization.

UPDATE, 6:41 PM: The Fish will get shortstop Yunel Escobar, infield prospect Adeiny Hechavarria, right-handed starter Henderson Alvarez and lefty prospect Justin Nicolino, according to various reports.

UPDATE, 6:34 PM: Morosi says Johnson, Buehrle and Reyes are all going to the Blue Jays, along with catcher John Buck and infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio. The firesale of all firesales.

6:13 PM: According to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays are on the “verge of acquiring” right-handed starter Josh Johnson and left-handed starter Mark Buehrle from the Marlins. Shortstop Jose Reyes may also be heading north. Much, much more to come, obviously.

The Cubs are in desperate need of relief

Associated Press
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Tonight in Chicago Yu Darvish of the Dodgers will face off against Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs. If this were Game 1, we’d have a lot to say about the Dodgers’ trade deadline pickup and the Cubs’ budding ace. If this series continues on the way it’s been going, however, each of them will be footnotes because it has been all about the bullpens.

The Cubs, you may have heard, are having tremendous problems with relief pitching. Both their own and with the opposition’s. Cubs relievers have a 7.03 ERA this postseason, and have allowed six runs on eight hits and have walked six batters in seven innings of work. And no, the relief struggles aren’t just a matter of Joe Maddon pushing the wrong buttons (even though, yeah, he has pushed the wrong buttons).

Maddon pushed Wade Davis for 44 pitches in Game 5 of the NLDS, limiting his availability in Games 1 and 2. That pushing is a result of a lack of relief depth on the Cubs. Brian Duensing, Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. all have talent and all have had their moments, but none of them are the sort of relievers we have come to see in the past few postseasons. The guys who, when your starter tosses 80 pitches in four innings like Jon Lester did the other night, can be relied upon to shut down the opposition for three and a half more until your lights-out closer can get the four-out save.

In contrast, the Dodgers bullpen has been dominant, tossing eight scoreless innings. Indeed, Dodgers relievers have tossed eight almost perfect innings, allowing zero hits and zero walks while striking out nine Cubs batters. The only imperfection came when Kenley Jansen hit Anthony Rizzo in Game 2. That’s it. Compare this to the past couple of postseasons where the only truly reliable arm down there was Jansen, and in which Dodgers managers have had to rely on Clayton Kershaw to come on in relief. That has not been a temptation at all as the revamped L.A. pen, featuring newcomers Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson. Suffice it to say, Joe Blanton is not missed.

Which brings us back to Kyle Hendricks. He has pitched twice this postseason, pitching seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but getting touched for four runs on nine hits while allowing a couple of dingers in Game 5. If the good Hendricks shows up, Maddon will be able to ride him until late in the game in which a now-rested Davis and maybe either Strop or Edwards can close things out in conventional fashion, returning this series to competitiveness. If the bad Hendricks does, he’ll have to do what he did in that NLDS Game 5, using multiple relievers and, perhaps, a repurposed starter in relief while grinding Davis into dust again. That was lucky to work there and doing it without Davis didn’t work in Game 2 on Sunday night.

So it all falls to Hendricks. The Dodgers have shown how soft the underbelly of the Cubs pen truly is. If they get to Hendricks early and get into that pen, you have to like L.A’s chances, not just in this game, but for the rest of the series, as bullpen wear-and-tear builds up quickly. It’s pretty simple: Hendricks has to give the Cubs some innings tonight. There is no other option available.

Just ask Joe Maddon. He’s tried.