Red Sox should be cautious of deal for Jose Fernandez


As the search continues for an ace to shore up the Red Sox starting rotation, rumors have been swirling involving just about every big name on the open market as well as other up-and-coming stars that Boston may want to target in a trade. David Price, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmerman, Johnny Cueto, Sonny Gray, Chris Sale … they’ve all been thoroughly analyzed and discussed. Another name that’s been thrown around, and according to John Tomase, may be the best of the bunch is Marlins hard throwing righty Jose Fernandez.

The Marlins are well aware that they may not be able to afford Fernandez very shortly, especially given the monster contract they have with Giancarlo Stanton. Also, tensions are on the rise between the club and Fernandez over his workload, innings pitched, etc. since he returned from Tommy John surgery in 2014. They also know that given the fact that he won’t be hitting the free agent market until 2018, the time to strike is now if they want to cash in on as many prospects as possible.

There is no doubt that this would be a huge move for Boston and could potentially land them one of the best young arms in the game for the next few years. After dishing out four prospect to the Padres for closer Craig Kimbrel, I think it’s important that Dombrowski and the Sox front office use as much caution and discipline as possible before pulling the trigger on that deal though.

We don’t know exactly what it would cost them, but one could guess one or two top arms and probably another top positional prospect with another younger, established major league player or some type of combination like that. I think it’s safe to say that Mookie and Xander are off limits, but literally anyone else would have to be on the table for that type of deal to work for Miami. This type of deal along with the Kimbrel deal will most likely dictate whether or not this team can back on track starting in 2016.

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The Tommy John surgery shouldn’t worry you. The list of pitchers that have returned with even better results than prior to the surgery is almost endless at this point. But what should worry fans is the talk of “limiting his workload”. ESPN reported on it yesterday. I would be concerned about any pitcher that wants to take the reign away from the manager and general manager in order to determine when they’ll pitch. Sure, Fernandez needs to take care of himself, his family and his future but the Red Sox would be making a huge commitment by making a move for him and need to keep these things in mind.

Reports of Matt Harvey quibbling with the Mets over how and when he would be used lead to big headlines in New York in 2015. Scott Boras is Harvey’s agent and coincidentally – or not – is also Fernandez’ agent. That is another important fact for the Sox to keep in mind. History tells us that Boras clients will eventually hit the free agent market, therefore an extension beyond 2018 is basically off the table.

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I like Jose Fernandez – love him in fact, and would enjoy seeing him in a Red Sox uniform for the next few years, but I’m also concerned that Dombrowski would literally give away the farm if he falls hard for any particular player. Sometimes it’s the deals that a baseball executive doesn’t make that can prove their value to a given franchise. All we’re asking as Sox fans is for the front office to be smart and to project out for years to come … basically, not be fans themselves.