According to a story from WEEI’s Rob Bradford, the Boston Red Sox had engaged in conversations with the Miami Marlins in an effort to acquire Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson. Both Reyes and Johnson, of course, became Toronto Blue Jays this past winter when the Marlins went into fire sale mode. The two former Marlins were part of a package that also included Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck heading to Toronto in exchange for Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis and Anthony Desclafani.
The discussions between the Red Sox and Marlins, according to Bradford’s source, included Bonifacio (“if needed”), but apparently excluded both Buehrle and Buck. The Red Sox were reportedly unwilling to part ways with super prospect Xander Bogaerts, which effectively killed the potential for a deal to be made.
Johnson, whose lack of a contract beyond 2013 should make for an interesting storyline this summer, told Bradford that he had done some preliminary research on playing in Boston prior to the 2012 non-waiver trade deadline:
“I had a good buddy on the team, Cody Ross. Just talking to him, he said I would love it,” said the pitcher, who played with Ross with the Marlins. “We went to dinner when (Boston) was in Miami. There was just small talk, joking around, like, ‘You would like it here.’ Stuff like that.”
There’s more, too, which may rile up some Blue Jays fans while one of their prized offseason acquisitions continues to pursue a new deal on a struggling ball club:
“Everything I’ve heard about it [Boston], everybody likes it,” said Johnson. “I don’t see why not. You always want to go to a good baseball town wherever you’re at. That’s a pretty good one.”
It’s hard to fathom a situation in which Johnson gets dealt to a division rival, but y’know, free agency on the horizon and such. Surely, this isn’t where Blue Jays fans envisioned the Johnson discussion in the early days of May.
As for the Red Sox, they appear to be making out very well without the trio of Marlins who they were reportedly interested in. Not that we’re endorsing any form of revisionist history here, but Xander Bogaerts’ .303/.380/.404 and defensive prowess at Double-A looks pretty good compared to an inconsistent Johnson, injured Reyes, and the disaster they call Bonifacio. Still, makes you think…