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Reports: Jose Fernandez was almost a Diamondback; predicted he and Giancarlo Stanton would be Yankees


Current Yankees outfielder and former Marlin Giancarlo Stanton appeared to accept his MVP Award at the New York BBWAA chapter dinner last night. While there, Stanton mentioned that his former teammate, the late Jose Fernandez, had predicted the duo would sign with the Yankees as free agents, Dan Martin of the New York Post reports.

According to Stanton, Fernandez said, “Hey, if this doesn’t work down here, I’m gonna be a free agent, and I’m gonna sign with the Yankees and you’re coming with me.” Stanton said, “Well, now I’m here and I’m gonna take a little piece of him with me and bring it to New York. It’s great to be here.”

Craig Mish of Sirius XM later added that Fernandez was apparently close to being traded to the Diamondbacks in 2015. Mish said that he hasn’t been able to get full details, but “something happened to nix that deal.”

Fernandez was killed at the age of 24 in a boating accent on September 25, 2016. Had that not happened, Fernandez almost certainly would have been part of the Marlins’ fire sale this offseason, which has already seen Stanton as well as Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon, and Christian Yelich shipped out. Catcher J.T. Realmuto is likely to be moved as well.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.