Could The Red Sox Land Jose Fernandez?
Could Jose Fernandez be on his way to Boston?
Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reported that the Red Sox have inquired about high-end pitching across the majors. The report included Miami Marlins starter Jose Fernandez and Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Boston has reportedly balked at the asking price in return of Xander Bogaerts and/or Mookie Betts and the conversation was described by Silverman as a “non-starter” if there ever was one.
On the surface, the asking price from Miami isn’t unreasonable. You’re talking about one of if not the best young pitcher in baseball. At just 23 years old Jose Fernandez has accomplished so much in just a short amount of time and dominated even on such a lackluster team. Fernandez is also under team control for the next three seasons following 2016. The right-hander owns a 31-12 record with a 2.43 ERA and 454 strikeouts over 60 career starts.
Meanwhile, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is in dire need of starting pitching. Outside of David Price, Rick Porcello and knuckleballer Steven Wright, the Red Sox are hamstrung as far as the rotation is concerned. We’ve seen Dombrowski pull off a blockbuster deal of this magnitude in the past and with the way his team is hitting the baseball, he can afford to part with the future to add an ace like Fernandez. That would establish Boston as a clear front-runner in the American League for years to come.
Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez weighed in on this issue tweeting on Saturday night: “Jose Fernandez is a special pitcher and human being and in every form you look at him you see BOSTON RED SOX.” Just imagine Fernandez wearing the uniform Pedro once wore. He’s not far off and I believe this is why Dombrowski and his staff will ultimately pull the trigger and bring Fernandez to Boston.
It will be a tough sell no doubt for Miami to part with their ace, but the haul they get back from Boston would be too hard to refuse. We’re talking about top prospects such as Rafael Devers, Anderson Espinoza and Yoan Moncada. Boston would have to send four-to-five legit prospects to the Marlins for the 23-year-old.
At this point we know Boston isn’t moving Bogaerts or Betts and I’m in the camp that the only prospect that is truly untouchable even for Fernandez is last year’s first round pick, outfielder Andrew Benintendi. Blake Swihart is obviously another name that might gauge interest from clubs in any trade for a pitcher and he could very well be the deciding piece as a catcher who has the potential to be a great hitter, and those are few and far between.
Jose Fernandez has an extensive arsenal of pitches that includes a four-seam fastball that he can gas up to 97-98 mph, a two-seam and a cutter then a devastating changeup to demolish opposing hitters. The Red Sox are 20th in all of baseball with a 4.59 team ERA, adding Fernandez (9-3, 2.57) would go a long way towards bringing another World Series Championship to the city of Boston.
The Red Sox sit ten games over .500 and one game back of the division as we enter the 12th week of the regular season. The All-Star Break is looming and the Red Sox need to add pitching prior to the trade deadline. It’s a long-shot that Dombrowski can pry Fernandez from South Beach, but if there’s any real shot, this trade needs to be completed.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: