Untouchable # 1:
Elliot Ness Jose Fernandez
Sorry, had to get one Untouchables joke in the article. Obviously just kidding on the Elliot Ness bit- we all know Sean Connery would have been the answer.
Of course it’s Jose Fernandez. There’s one pitcher who’s unanimously viewed as better in the game today, and that’s Clayton Kershaw. If you’ve ranked anyone else but Kershaw ahead of him, than you’re either wrong or thinking total innings projections for your fantasy baseball lineup. The Marlins are essentially on cruise control any time he starts. Nothing else need be said about his excellence. This club could possibly absorb the loss of Stanton. June comes to mind if you want an example. They’re dead in the water without Jose.
He’s also the most likely player on this list to be traded, eventually. Fernandez projects to command a tremendous salary, one capable of shattering the ranking record for a pitcher. The universe in which the Marlins are able to sign him to an extension is one in which one of these two events happen:
- He reinjures himself.
- Marlins fans actually start showing up, Loria aside, to follow this team for the next two seasons, as a result of deep playoff runs in consecutive years with the promise of more to come.
Okay, maybe that’s technically three events. Even then, the odds are slim.
The real story here is that I see him as absolutely spending the entire 2017 season in a Marlins uniform. Between the spotlight of that upcoming All-Star Game and the promise the team has shown so far in 2016, he’s the definition of untouchable. This is the best chance, perhaps the last chance, to wrest control of the market and change public opinion about the way this team is run. Even in 2018, the last year he could be traded, he’d be worth a farm system. There’s no rush to deal him.
And there you have it. Everyone else, could see them moved at any time. Everyone else, as good as they are, would be worth moving if it meant bringing a Top 20 starting pitcher into the rotation or adding a patient slugger who can hit with RISP.
While the window for any of these guys moving in the next twenty-four hours has probably closed, I think we’re in the most fascinating offseason since 2012.
Let’s just hope that this offseason is a bit better executed. And starts a bit later than usual.