Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Buehrle rips Miami brass

Veteran pitcher says he was 'lied to on multiple occasions' by Marlins

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MIAMI -- Mark Buehrle issued a parting shot at Miami Marlins' management after his stay with the team lasted only one tumultuous season.

The left-hander, who signed a four-year contract a year ago, was part of the blockbuster trade that sent Buehrle, all-star shortstop Jose Reyes, right-hander Josh Johnson and two other players to the Toronto Blue Jays. With the deal, the Marlins pared $146.5 million in future payroll.

"I'm upset with how things turned out in Miami," Buehrle said in a statement issued Wednesday through his agent, Jeff Berry. "Just like the fans in South Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I'm putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career."

Team President David Samson said the Marlins didn't lie to Buehrle, but instead were compelled to make drastic changes after a disastrous season that included a last-place finish and disappointing attendance in a new ballpark.

"I'm as sorry as he is that he was traded," Samson said during his weekly radio show on WINZ-AM. "There was no way we could have envisioned what happened, both on and off the field."

Buehrle signed a $58 million, four-year deal with the Marlins during their unprecedented spending spree a year ago. Part of the lure was the chance to pitch again for Ozzie Guillen, who had been Buehrle's manager with the Chicago White Sox.

The Marlins then finished last in the NL East at 69-93. Guillen was fired, and owner Jeffrey Loria ordered a dramatic reduction in payroll.

Miami fans were outraged because team officials had said the taxpayer-financed ballpark would ensure higher revenue and payrolls. Samson said spending reductions were necessary because 2012 attendance fell short of projections.

Berry said he and Buehrle were wary of signing with the Marlins because of their history of rapid roster turnover, and because of the team's longstanding policy against no-trade clauses.

"Throughout the recruiting process, the Marlins made repeated assurances about their long-term commitment to Mark and his family and their long-term commitment to building a winning tradition of Marlins baseball in the new stadium," Berry said in a statement.

"At the same time, given the Marlins history, we were all certainly aware of and voiced concern about the lack of no-trade protection."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 22, 2012 D5

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