Despite recent rumors swirling about the Marlins looking to trade ace Jose Fernandez or Fernandez asking to be dealt himself, both sides say they’re looking to continue their relationship in 2016. At a recent charity event, Fernandez told reporters (including MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro) that he’d heard about the trade speculation but “I’m not paying attention to it at all….I really don’t have no time to look into that stuff. It’s not important to me.”
“I’m looking forward to being with my teammates and winning some ballgames. Get ready to go to Spring Training healthy and have a nice long year with the boys. Hopefully we get the opportunity to win the World Series. That’s the main goal. That’s what the city deserves and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Sources within Marlins management saw a Fernandez trade as doubtful a few days ago, and Frisaro hears (Twitter link) that the righty will indeed be staying put. In a recent appearance on the MLB Network, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman said that teams who contacted the Marlins about Fernandez were told that the ace isn’t available.
Any number of “unavailable” players have been dealt over the years, of course, so it’s possible the Marlins are simply trying to give themselves extra leverage in trade talks and thus drive what’s already sure to be a high asking price for Fernandez even higher. If Miami really did want to trade Fernandez, this offseason may not be the best time for it — the righty was limited to just 64 2/3 innings in 2015, missing half the season recovering from Tommy John surgery and then another month with a bicep strain in his throwing arm.
This shortened workload will mean that Fernandez will pitch under an innings limit in 2016, and interestingly, the 23-year-old said that Scott Boras, his agent, will indeed play a role in how that limit will be determined. Marlins president David Samson said last week that Boras wouldn’t have a say in Fernandez’s workload, though the right-hander himself said that Boras was already involved in such discussions last year and “it’s worked perfectly fine. We all agreed. We’re all on the same page.”
“I do not know what all this is all about, but Scott Boras will be there because he’s my agent, and I get to decide who is going to be on my phone calls on my conference. It’s that simple.”
Even an inning-capped version of Fernandez would still be attractive to virtually every team in baseball, should the Marlins decide to make him available. On the flip side, Miami hopes to be contender itself in 2016 and dealing an ace wouldn’t help an already-questionable Marlins rotation. The Fish could try to get Major League-ready pitching in return for Fernandez, though on paper, a team with such arms to spare wouldn’t necessarily be the best trade partner for Fernandez.