Million-dollar question this offseason has been what it might take for the Los Angeles Dodgers to somehow snag Jose Fernandez from the Miami Marlins. Almost all national voices have the Dodgers as the team most capable of acquiring him, but at what cost?
ESPN’s Jim Bowden tried to figure that out, plus what other teams might have offers to rival Andrew Friedman’s.
You ready for this? Take a deep breath; maybe sit down, too.
I guess the good news is the Dodgers would hold on to Corey Seager, but beyond that, this seems like an extremely steep price to pay. Here’s Bowden’s thinking:
The Dodgers should hold on to Corey Seager and not include him in this deal, but to do that, they have no choice but to include two of their top pitching prospects in Urias and De Leon along with center fielder Pederson and Van Slyke, an extra player. The Dodgers would have to get Ozuna back in the deal, in that Ozuna would replace Pederson in center field.
When the Dodgers acquired Trayce Thompson in the trade earlier this offseason, Pederson didn’t become immediately dispensable, but his value to the team took a hit. Thompson and Pederson play the same position, and with Carl Crawford being basically immovable and the front office seeming so reluctant to part with Ethier, something has to give. Unfortunately in Bowden’s hypothetical, it’s Pederson.
The other thing that jumps out is the inclusion of both Julio Urias and Jose De Leon. Given how often fans have heard those two names over the last couple years (and especially the last month or so), I’m not sure a trade featuring both of them would be all that popular, even if it means landing a pitcher of Fernandez’s talent level.
It isn’t like Fernandez comes without risk either. He’s battled injuries more than he’s been healthy the last couple seasons and if the Dodgers offered such a packaged as listed above and he gets hurt yet again, the trade has the potential to look ridiculous for literally the foreseeable future.
Which brings us to why this deal has taken so long and — in my opinion — won’t happen. Friedman and the rest of the front office has prioritized making the franchise sustainable. This means getting the payroll under control and keeping a cycle of young talent to replenish the major league roster whenever possible.
While a Fernandez – Clayton Kershaw combo would obviously shift the balance in the division back to the Dodgers immediately, he doesn’t answer all the other questions left on the field.
I’ll say it like this: The Dodgers don’t seem interested in trading Yasiel Puig, right? That’s because his value has never been (or may never again be) as low as it is right now. Fernandez is the opposite. His value will never be as high as it is right now, and will likely fall as he nears free agency, let alone if he suffers another injury. Ask anyone who’s traded stocks, you never buy at a stock’s highest rate; just as you never sell when it’s at its lowest.