For Miami Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez, free agency is still a few years away. However, it’s always been viewed as a long shot that Miami would extend Fernandez. Now, a new report suggests an extension is, indeed, unlikely.
Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez will not be a free agent until after the 2019 season. That means, if they would like to, the Marlins could control Fernandez for the next three full seasons. However, if Fernandez was in the team’s long term plans, he would probably receive an extension before he hits free agency.
The Boston Globe reported that the Marlins and Fernandez are not expected to have extension talks early in the offseason, and the talks may not take place at all.
A Fernandez extension, for a few reasons, has always seemed to be a long shot. The first, and perhaps most influential, is Fernandez is represented by Scott Boras. Boras usually has his players hit free agency — hence, declining extensions — to maximize their value on the open market.
But contracts are a two-way street, as well. And the Marlins have never seemed to indicate that they are willing to pay Fernandez the type of money he would covet. Perhaps the Marlins are hesitant to pay Fernandez after they didn’t get a great return on investment when signing Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Mark Buehrle.
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The other side of that coin, though, could be the massive deal Giancarlo Stanton signed with the team. Stanton is one of the top power hitters in the league, and his contract actually isn’t all that crazy. Stanton signed a 13-year deal, worth $325 million. The overall dollar amount is staggering, but spread out over 13 years, it comes to an average annual value of $25 million, which isn’t that outlandish by today’s standards.
Fernandez has long been a different story, though. For the past few years, a trade has seemed inevitable. If the Marlins aren’t going to sign Fernandez long-term, it’s very likely that they will trade him to the highest bidder.
The Globe named four potential suitors for Fernandez: the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees. Each of these teams makes sense. Any team who acquires Fernandez via trade will do so with the intent of extending him long-term, and preventing Fernandez from reaching free agency.
It is worth wondering what it would take to acquire Fernandez. This makes a potential Fernandez trade especially intriguing. Not only would a team have to write a huge check to sign Fernandez long-term, but they would have to possess, and be willing to part with, multiple top prospects.
Only a few teams in the league have an abundance of top prospects to get such a deal done. The Cubs and Red Sox both have fantastic systems. The Dodgers have dipped into theirs a bit recently, but it’s still deep. As for the Yankees, they’ve crafted one of the top farm systems in all of baseball, largely through a series of trades.
Each MLB offseason is filled with headlines and rumors. As things currently stand, it sounds like a potential Fernandez trade will be one of the top storylines to look out for once the offseason commences.
Fernandez is 15-8 in 28 starts this season for the Marlins. He has a 2.99 ERA, a 2.39 FIP, and a 1.15 WHiP on the season.