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

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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.