With Dee Gordon now extended through the 2020 season (and possibly 2021 by way of vesting option), MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro gets the sense that the Marlins hope to hammer out a long-term deal for Jose Fernandez, possibly in advance of tomorrow’s exchange of arbitration figures (Twitter link). That’s an ambitious goal for a number of reasons — lack of time, Fernandez’s stock being low after an injury-shortened season, Scott Boras’ aversion to long-term deals, etc. — and Frisaro himself notes that he hasn’t confirmed long-term contract talks are taking place. Jon Heyman, meanwhile, tweets that there’s “no word” that the Marlins are hopeful of coming to terms on an extension with their young ace. With Fernandez already eligible for arbitration, the urgency to sign a deal isn’t as pressing, as he’ll begin earning notable salaries as soon as 2016, when MLBTR has him projected at $2.2MM. Given his excellence when healthy, that number should rise rapidly, as he’ll be arb-eligible three more times before qualifying for free agency.
Here’s more on the Marlins and the NL East…
- Miami’s agreement with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen should put to rest the trade rumors swirling around Fernandez and Marcell Ozuna, writes Frisaro in a full column. By adding Chen (and extending Gordon), the Marlins sent the message that their goal is to contend in 2016. Adding Chen lessens the temptation to add a young arm by trading Ozuna, which would’ve simply created another hole in the outfield anyhow, Frisaro notes.
- Within that piece, Frisaro reports that the Nationals made a run at Christian Yelich this offseason, floating a concept involving left-hander Gio Gonzalez going to the Marlins. He’s the second reporter to say as much, as Jon Heyman first mentioned the scenario about a month ago While I’d imagine that other pieces were involved in the Washington’s scenario, Frisaro hears that the inquiry “didn’t go anywhere,” which isn’t necessarily a surprise. The Marlins took Yelich 23rd overall back in 2010 and rewarded him with a hefty $49.75MM contract extension with a little more than one year of service time under his belt last offseason; the team is quite high on Yelich’s potential.
- The Braves could end up going to an arbitration hearing with right-hander Arodys Vizcaino tomorrow, writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Atlanta cemented itself as a “file-and-trial” team (one that does not negotiate one-year salaries after arbitration figures are exchanged) last season when it went to a hearing with left-hander Mike Minor. With figures set to be exchanged tomorrow at 1pm ET, there’s little time for the two sides to work out a deal, although GM John Coppolella voiced a desire to work something out. “Our hope is always to settle before numbers are filed, but we showed last year that we have no problem going to a hearing if we are unable to reach a number that works for our club,” Coppolella explained. Vizcaino is projected by MLBTR to make $1.1MM next season, although as a Super Two player, establishing a more significant base in his first trip through the process would make the right-hander exponentially more costly in his next three arbitration-eligible offseasons.
- In a piece for Vice Sports, Mike Vorkunov spoke to former Mets vice president of player development/amateur scouting about his decision to jump ship to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and the journey that brought him to baseball in the first place. DePodesta recalls some influential lessons he learned while interning for George H.W. Bush’s deputy assistant, Jim Pinkerton — an experience that changed the way he approached his understanding not only of baseball but life in general. Vorkunov spoke to DePodesta’s former colleague, Josh Byrnes (now a senior VP working under Andrew Friedman in L.A.) as well as former Harvard football teammates/coaches and current/former Browns employees. DePodesta explained to Vorkunov that he’s tried to learn about as many other industries as possible (healthcare, finance, etc.). “I’ll say this: the last 20 years in baseball, much what I’ve done is try to learn as much as I can about other industries, especially ones that I thought shared common characteristics to what we were doing in baseball,” said DePodesta. “Because I was always trying to learn how they dealt with similar interests to what we had.” Vorkunov’s lengthy piece gives an excellent look into DePodesta and what he and his unique background will bring to the NFL. To read more about DePodesta’s career change from a football perspective, check out MLBTR’s sister site, Pro Football Rumors.