Jeff Mathis (2002) headed to Miami Marlins as part of blockbuster deal

The Toronto Blue Jays have traded Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez,  Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolini, Jake Marisnick and Jeff Mathis (Cedar Rapids Kernels – 2002) to the Miami Marlins to acquire Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio and $4 million in cash according to reports . The deal saddens me a bit as a Marlins fan to see them slash payroll once again only one year into their new stadium. It does give me a Cedar Rapids alum in Marlins uniform to cheer for again. I know a Marlins fan in Iowa doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I needed a National League team (Yankees fan from birth) and chose them over the Rockies in their expansion year. Dallas McPherson (Cedar Rapids Kernels – 2002) was our last alumni to play in a game for the Marlins back in 2008. Mathis will be facing an uphill battle for playing time with Rob Brantly being a fixture in the Marlins future plans after coming over from the Detroit Tigers along with Jacob Turner in the Anibal Sanchez / Omar Infante trade last season.

Jeff Mathis has hit .198 with 61 doubles, 31 HR and 166 RBI during his eight year MLB career playing for the Angels and Blue Jays. Mathis hit .218 with 8 HR and 27 RBI in 71 games for Toronto in 2012.

Jeff Mathis was part of the 2002 Kernels team that finished 3rd with a mark of 81-58 under manager Todd Claus. The 2002 team swept Quad Cities in the opening round of the playoffs before falling to Peoria in the second round. Mathis hit .287 with 41 doubles, 10 HR and 73 RBI in 128 games for Cedar Rapids. He was inducted into the Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. Mathis was a great community guy making many public appearances for the Kernels while he was in Cedar Rapids back in 2002. He continued the support conducting a catchers camp at Perfect Game’s facilities in the morning during his trip back for our Hall of Fame banquet in 2011.

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