Former five-time All-Star Tony Fernandez passed away Saturday night at age 57, according to Hector Gomez of Deportivo Z 101 (Twitter link). Fernandez suffered a brain stroke while he was already in hospital receiving treatment for complications from kidney disease, and Fernandez was placed in an induced coma two weeks ago.
Fernandez appeared in part of 17 Major League seasons from 1983-2001, suiting up for seven different teams but making his biggest impact with the Blue Jays. Over four separate stints with Toronto, Fernandez played 1450 of his 2158 MLB games in a Jays uniform, and is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, hits (1583), singles (1160), triples (72), and bWAR (37.5). A switch-hitting offensive contributor who hit .288/.347/.399 over 8793 career plate appearances, Fernandez was even more highly regarded for his defense, winning four consecutive Gold Gloves at shortstop between 1986-89.
Though Fernandez was dealt to the Padres along with Fred McGriff in the blockbuster December 1990 trade that brought Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter to Toronto, Fernandez returned to the Jays in time to help his old club capture its second consecutive World Series title. The Jays re-acquired Fernandez in a June 1993 deal with the Mets, and the shortstop hit .306/.361/.442 in 390 regular season PA with the Jays in 1993, and then .333/.423/.381 over 26 plate appearances during the 1993 World Series. Fernandez also posted a 1.022 OPS over 34 PA during the ALCS and World Series for the Indians in 1997, during the Tribe’s run to Game Seven against the eventual world champion Marlins.
The MLB Trade Rumors staff sends our condolences and best wishes to Fernandez’s family, friends, and many fans.