Jose Fernandez: Marlins Don’t Believe Extension Likely with Ace

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One of the off-season priorities for the Miami Marlins entering this off-season was signing their non-Giancarlo Stanton players to extensions. Of all the players, their number one priority likely would be the star ace of their rotation, Jose Fernandez.

Though the team would have liked to extend Jose, the chances were always a long shot, even coming off of his Tommy John surgery. The reason for the unlikeliness of any deal between the two sides hinges on Fernandez’s agent, Scott Boras.

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According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Marlins don’t have a “strong impression” that a deal will be consummated with Jose Fernandez this off-season.

"Though the Marlins made a multiyear offer in an attempt to get Jose Fernandez under contract past 2018 (when he becomes eligible for free agency), they were left with the strong impression that agent Scott Boras prefers to take his clients into free agency."

It’s pretty fair to say Jose Fernandez has had a better start to his career than current free agent and Boras client Max Scherzer. In the past couple of seasons, Scherzer has become one of the better pitchers in baseball. He remains a free agent mid-way through January, as his agent continues to scour the market for the best possible deal for him.

Giancarlo Stanton was the first player in MLB history to sign a $300 million contract and it’s very likely Boras could make Jose Fernandez the first pitcher to come close to that type of contract, especially since it’s rumored Scherzer is looking for a deal in excess of $200 million.

All of that will hinge on the health of Jose in the coming seasons, whose under team control through the 2017 season.

Through his first season and a quarter, Jose Fernandez owns a 2.25 ERA, a 2.60 FIP, and a 5.8 fWAR. He has struck out 29% of the hitters he’s faced and walked just 9%. He’s already among the best pitchers in baseball, at the tender age of 21.

In his lone 8 starts of the 2014 season, Jose actually improved from his dominant rookie season, striking out over 12 hitters per nine innings and posting a Clayton Kershaw-esque 2.18 FIP. If he had not gotten hurt, it would have been fun to see he and Kershaw go head to head for the NL CY Young award, as well as see how far the Marlins would have gotten in their playoff chase.

With Jose Fernandez set to return for the Marlins around the All-Star break, the team has an outside of contention for the 2015 season, with the 2016 season looking very promising.

Next: Marlins still in on James Shields?

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