Today’s blockbuster, 12-player trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Miami Marlins includes many former Midwest League players.
Unofficially (as of this writing), the trade involves the Marlins sending RHP Josh Johnson, LHP Mark Buehrle, SS Jose Reyes, INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio and C John Buck, along with $4 million in cash, to the Blue Jays for SS Yunel Escobar, INF Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Henderson Alvarez, C Jeff Mathis and prospects LHP Justin Nicolino, OF Jake Marisnick and RHP Anthony DeSclafani.
Eight of those players spent time in the Midwest League.
Mark Buehrle went 7-4 with a 4.10 ERA, 91 strikeouts and 16 walks in 98.2 IP for the 1999 Burlington Bees.
Emilio Bonifacio spent two seasons with the South Bend Silver Hawks. In 2004, he hit .260 with 1 HR, 37 RBI and 40 SB in 120 games. In 2005, he hit .270 with 1 HR, 44 RBI and 55 SB in 127 games.
John Buck hit .282 with 10 HR and 71 RBI in 109 games with the 2000 Michigan Battle Cats. He also went 1-for-10 in four games with the 1999 team.
Henderson Alvarez went 9-6 with a 3.47 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 19 walks in 124.1 IP for the 2009 Lansing Lugnuts.
Jeff Mathis hit .287 with 10 HR and 73 RBI in 128 games with the 2002 Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Justin Nicolino went 10-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 119 strikeouts and 21 walks in 124.1 IP for the 2012 Lansing Lugnuts. He also pitched in three games for the 2011 Lugnuts. He was named the Topps Midwest League Player of the Year in 2012.
Jake Marisnick hit .320 with 14 HR, 77 RBI and 37 SB in 118 games with the 2011 Lansing Lugnuts. He hit .220 in 34 games with the 2010 Lugnuts.
Anthony DeSclafani went 11-3 with a 3.37 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 25 walks in 123 IP for the 2012 Lansing Lugnuts.
Cubs sign Baker to 1-year deal
The Chicago Cubs signed RHP Scott Baker to a one-year, $5.5 million contract with performance bonuses. The former Minnesota Twins pitcher missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Baker went 3-1 with a 2.49 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 50.2 IP for the 2003 Quad City River Bandits.
Rockies hire Bichette as hitting coach
The Colorado Rockies hired former slugger Dante Bichette to be their hitting coach. He represented the Rockies in four All-Star Games during his seven-year tenure with the team.
Bichette hit .265 with 11 HR, 78 RBI and 25 SB in 137 games with the 1985 Quad City Angels. His son, Dante Bichette, Jr., is a prospect in the New York Yankees organization.
Bichette replaces former Rockies hitting coach Carney Lansford, who also played for the Quad City Angels. Lansford hit .287 with 14 HR, 86 RBI and 26 SB in 121 games with the 1976 team. His sons Josh and Jared both played in the Midwest League and currently are minor-leaguers in the Oakland A’s organization.
Bichette will be hitting coach under new Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who played for the 1986 Madison Muskies.