2. Elieser Hernandez
Everyone and their mother is going to be trying to plunder the Marlins’ pitching riches this offseason, but Kim Ng and Derek Jeter’s braintrust isn’t going to be playing around. They know they’ve built an arsenal, both of prospects and at the big league level.
They also know — say it with me, now — you can never have enough pitching. These Marlins aren’t in desperation mode. They’re happy to keep everybody.
That said, Brian Cashman should be calling daily about putting together a package for Elieser Hernandez, who put it all together in 2020 and would likely have a much higher profile right now if not for a 60-Day IL stint in a lost season in Miami spent dealing with a quad issue.
After underwhelming partial seasons in 2018 and 2019, Hernandez thrived during the Marlins’ playoff run (!) in 2020, striking out 34 men in 25.1 innings across six starts, carrying a 3.16 ERA and 1.013 WHIP. The Venezuelan righty is only freshly 26 years old, and will be controlled by Miami — or, you know, the Yanks, if they pull the trigger — through 2024, and is first-year arb-eligible in 2022.
The Marlins won’t be suckered into anything here. The Yankees can’t underpay just because Miami employs Sandy Alcantara, Trevor Rogers, Max Meyer, Sixto Sanchez (eh?), Pablo Lopez and more. But Hernandez is the name among these who can be pried loose, unless someone’s willing to sacrifice mega-capital and truly believes in Sanchez’s future viability, far from a certainty right now.
The Yankees might not be able to finish this off, but they should be at the front of the line.