Cafardo: Yankees Could Pursue Jose Fernandez this Winter


According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the New York Yankees are one of several clubs who could pursue Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez this offseason.

Cafardo reports that there is “more buzz that the Marlins will listen to offers for Fernandez this offseason.” He names the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, and Yankees as four clubs sure to “all be in line” for the young starter.

The 24-year-old right-hander is set to hit free agency following the 2018 season, and the small market Marlins don’t seem like a great bet to retain him, although they did surprisingly lock up star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton to a heavily back-loaded 13 year $325 million extension before the 2015 season.

Rumors about the Marlins shopping Fernandez persisted all last winter. The Yankees, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks were among the clubs that were at least in preliminary talks. Miami’s asking price was reportedly exorbitant, and rightfully so. For example, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports asked for Julio Urias and Corey Seager from the Dodgers.

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Jose Frisaro of reported that the Yankees were willing to include Luis Severino in their package, and Greg Bird‘s name came up as well. Frisaro expressed doubts that New York had the talent in their system to outbid other clubs like Los Angeles, but obviously that wouldn’t be the case after all the top prospects they brought in at the trade deadline.

Miami were surprise contenders for much of the season before a 10-18 slide in August dropped them out of the Wild Card race. It’s not clear if their early season success will encourage them to keep Fernandez and go for it again next year or if the second collapse was discouraging enough to prompt Jeffrey Loria to once again blow up their roster.

Fernandez has a 2.99 ERA and 2.39 FIP through a career-high 174.1 innings this season. He leads all qualified starters with 12.4 K/9 as of this writing. With two years of team control remaining, his trade value may never be higher. If the Marlin’s aren’t willing to pay him the $30-plus million annually it will take to extend him, it may be in their interest to trade him now rather than risk another arm injury.

With one TJ surgery already on his ledger, any hint of elbow trouble would drastically reduce what the Marlins could get for him. Of course, any team surrendering a huge prospect package for him would also have to weigh that risk.

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Would an offer like Severino, Clint Frazier, Jorge Mateo, and Domingo Acevedo be a good starting point? Surrendering three to four Top-100 type players would be the minimum ask almost certainly.