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 PM: It 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.