<span class="vcard">Bill Baer</span>

Jose Fernandez
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Marlins cultivating an innings plan for Jose Fernandez

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MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins have taken preliminary plans to begin an innings plan for starter Jose Fernandez. The right-hander made his season debut on July 2 after working his way back from Tommy John surgery, then landed back on the disabled list in August due to a biceps injury.

The Marlins will work with Dr. Neal ElAttrache to come up with a specific number for Fernandez. Frisaro notes that the Marlins won’t be consulting directly with Fernandez’s agent Scott Boras, who also represents Mets starter Matt Harvey. Boras and Harvey drew criticism during the season due to an imposed innings limit.

Fernandez, 23, recently rejected a multi-year contract extension offered by the Marlins. In 47 starts over three seasons, he has a 2.40 ERA, a 1.014 WHIP, and a 336/85 K/BB ratio spanning 289 innings.

Marlins to explore extending Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins will explore extending second baseman Dee Gordon. Gordon is receptive to the possibility, saying, “I love it here –– the ballpark, the coaches, the staff.”

The Marlins acquired Gordon in a trade with the Dodgers last December. He won the National League batting title, batting .333/.359/.418 with a major league-best 205 hits and 58 stolen bases while scoring 88 runs in 653 plate appearances. Gordon is eligible for arbitration for the second of four years and can hit free agency after the 2018 season.

Jackson notes that the Marlins also want to extend shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, but he wants a deal similar to the eight-year, $120 million contract Elvis Andrus signed with the Rangers.

Reds don’t expect Homer Bailey back until mid-May

AP Photo/J Pat Carter

Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said in an interview with Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that starter Homer Bailey isn’t expect to rejoin the club’s rotation until mid-May. Bailey underwent Tommy John surgery this past May and only recently began a throwing program.

Bailey, 29, threw only 11 1/3 innings before hitting the shelf this season. He signed a six-year, $105 million contract extension in February 2014, but that was the season his injury woes flared up. He battled a neck injury and underwent flexor tendon surgery in September. The contract hasn’t been working out well for the Reds thus far.

Over the course of nine seasons in the majors, Bailey has a career 4.19 ERA with 832 strikeouts and 325 walks in 1,010 innings. He was the Reds’ first-round selection (seventh overall) in the 2004 draft.

Twins GM Terry Ryan has no restrictions this offseason

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 29: General Manager Terry Ryan of the Minnesota Twins speaks to the media about replacing manger Ron Gardenhire at a press conference on September 29, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 reported on Thursday that Twins executive vice president and GM Terry Ryan won’t have any restrictions from CEO Jim Pohlad this offseason.

The Twins boosted their Opening Day payroll from $85 million in 2014 to $108 million this past season and wound up winning 13 more games. Of course, their success had more to do with their burgeoning young talent, particularly Miguel Sano, who posted a .916 OPS in 335 plate appearances.

Adding a few free agents to bolster the roster, however, could be what allows the Twins to challenge the Royals’ AL Central supremacy. By record, the Twins were the second-best team in the division, finishing higher than fourth for the first time since 2010.

If the Twins were to dive into the free agent market, they almost certainly won’t be players for the more elite names like Jason Heyward, David Price, and Justin Upton.

Free agent Mike Napoli might catch again

Mike Napoli
AP Photo/LM Otero

In his Sunday column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo mentions that free agent first baseman Mike Napoli rose his free agent stock by performing well in the second half and playing a little left field. He also mentions that he could go back to catching, though not on a full-time (and ostensibly not even a part-time) basis.

Napoli hasn’t caught since 2012 with the Rangers, when he spent 72 games at catcher. Then the Red Sox signed him to a one-year, $5 million deal and used the veteran as a full-time first baseman.

Napoli, 34, hit .224/.324/.410 with 18 home runs and 50 RBI in 469 plate appearances overall this past season. He struggled with the Red Sox, who shipped him to the Rangers in August. He hit .295/.396/.513 in 91 PA with his new team, helping them win the AL West.