Craig Calcaterra

Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez could be moved this winter

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UPDATE: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com is reporting that “two highly placed sources” have told him that Fernandez “is not being shopped or discussed to be shopped.” So stand down, I suppose.

1:32 PMIt was a year ago today that the Miami Marlins signed Giancarlo Stanton to that 13-year, $325 million contract. The idea was that, after years of farting around, the Marlins were getting serious. They were going to build for a Stanton-led dynasty.

Baseball dynasties are not built on one player, of course, so a key part of that idea was that other players would help form that core. Chief among them: Jose Fernandez, who was then rehabbing from Tommy John surgery but who would soon be coming back to the Marlins’ rotation. With an elite slugger and an ace in the fold, the sky would be the limit, the theory went.

Except they may have to find another ace:

 

There’s an open question regarding whether it was ever reasonable to count on Fernandez for the long term, of course. He’s a Scott Boras client and, while he’s under Marlins control through 2018, Boras clients like to test free agency. Moreover, Boras and the Marlins have been feuding lately, so it’s possible that the Marlins’ chances of or desire to keep Fernandez long term are in serious doubt.

But to trade him now, though, seems pretty hasty. The Marlins had a bad 2015, largely because of injuries, but heading into 2016 with a healthy Stanton and Fernandez in what is still certain to be a weak NL East is a pretty good situation, competitively speaking. Trading him, especially if it’s for prospects instead of commensurate major league talent, would be tantamount to announcing a rebuild.

I feel like the NL East has enough of those going on right now. And that Marlins fans have endured enough of them in recent years already.

Fredi Gonzalez says Freddie Freeman will be a Brave next season

Freddie Freeman
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The other night rumors circulated that the Braves were considering trading first baseman Freddie Freeman. While that seemed somewhat far-fetched — Freeman is the Braves’ best hitter, he is under a reasonable long term deal and the team is starved of offense — the Braves have traded a lot of players once thought off-limits in the past year or two.

Today Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez took to the airwaves and shot those rumors down:

 

Probably worth noting here that front offices do themselves no favors if they telegraph their moves in public. Indeed, just last January team President John Hart said that the club had no plans to trade Craig Kimbrel and he was gone before Opening Day. It was a decent deal for the Braves, perhaps in part because they made it seem like they really didn’t want to part with him. That’s how negotiation works.

For this reason — and, as the Kimbrel example shows — you can’t take an executive’s public pronouncements about a player at face value. So, while Gonzalez’s words sound pretty emphatic, and while it makes far more sense for Freeman to remain with the Braves than to be traded, remember that things can always change. All it takes is one phone call and the right offer.

David Ross to retire after 2016

David Ross
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Cubs catcher David Ross was on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM yesterday and was asked if 2016 would be his last year.He answered in the affirmative, saying “I think this is probably going to be it for me, time to be a dad, I’m going to give it one more run.”

Ross will be entering year two of a two-year, $5 million contract. He hit a paltry .176/.267/.252 in 182 plate appearances in 2015. He’ll turn 39 during Spring Training. He’s basically Jon Lester‘s personal catcher, however, so it’s not like he’s expected to carry too much weight.

(h/t MLB Trade Rumors)