MIAMI -- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said Monday that Jose Reyes was not told to purchase a house in Miami just days before he was traded to Toronto on Nov. 19, contrary to comments made by the former Marlins shortstop at Blue Jays Spring Training on Feb. 15.
Since the trade, both Reyes and starting pitcher Mark Buehrle have said they were led to believe they wouldn't be moved. Both were traded less than a year after signing a multiyear contract.
"Buehrle is a very interesting guy," Loria said. "He's in his mid-30s. ... In this business, you have to look ahead. You have to look, two, three, four, five years down the road. You make a team four years from now, and Buehrle doesn't fit in. He's at the end of his career, earning $17-18 million. Frankly, that doesn't work down here for us, because there are other players we're going to want to keep, we're going to want to sign. And we have good, young pitching. We have good young pitching."
When Reyes reported to Blue Jays camp, his comments created further speculation on how his trade was handled.
"Jeffrey Loria always told me he's never going to trade me," Reyes said during an on-camera media session on Feb. 15. "He always called my agent and told him, 'Tell Jose to get a good place here to live,' and stuff like that.
"Before he traded me, four days before the trade, I was with him at dinner in New York. I went to vacation with my wife, and two days later I find out I was traded. I thought people were joking about it. I called my agent and he said, 'Yes.' It surprised me a little bit, but it's time to move on."
On Monday, Loria looked to clarify what happened.
Shortly before the trade with Toronto, Miami president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest gave Loria a briefing, saying the deal was close.
Loria then called up Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg, to fill him in.
"Let me set the record straight," Loria said. "What you've been told is inaccurate. It was inaccurate. I never told him to buy a house. He was looking for a house. He came to an ALS dinner that I invited him to. He sat two people away from me.
"Larry came to me with the trade that he wanted to do. I immediately called Jose's agent, out of respect, and said, 'Jose is going to be traded.' I want you to call him before he reads about it. He hasn't bought a house, has he? No, he's contemplating. So, I said, just call him and let him know."