“Win-now” Marlins reportedly extend offers to Fernandez, other young players

After locking up Giancarlo Stanton with an historic 13-year, $325 million extension earlier this offseason, the Marlins have now reportedly turned their sights toward reaching long-term deals with young ace Jose Fernandez and some of their other core players.

The club has reportedly offered Fernandez a six-year guaranteed deal worth approximately $40 million, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. He adds that the club has also extended long-term offers to outfielder Christian Yelich and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, while they’re expected to do the same at some point this week with outfielder Marcell Ozuna.

These offers, particularly the one to Fernandez, are in the early stages of negotiation. It’s unclear whether or not Fernandez would even be willing to commit to a long-term contract at this point in his career, let alone what it may take from a financial standpoint.

Either way, this is yet another indication that the Marlins are intent on surrounding Stanton with high-level talent, both now and in the future. Along with these extension offers, the Marlins are reportedly willing to deal some of their prospect-level talent for the right price, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.

The Marlins find themselves in a much different place this offseason than one year ago, hence the change in organizational philosophy. Instead of coming off a 100-loss season as they were last winter, the Marlins went 77-85 this past season and remained in the postseason race into the season’s final month.

Now, after signing Stanton to his mammoth extension, the Marlins find themselves in “win-now” mode and are willing to make the deals necessary to become a contender.

“Definitely, our goal is to take that next step and hopefully be playing into October next year,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “We’re always mindful of our inventory, because it’s so difficult in our situation to replace an arm. But if we think it’s a good deal, one that makes sense for us, not just in the short term, but in the long term, we’ll look at it.”

The Marlins pulled the trigger on a deal last week, shipping lefty Brian Flynn and right-hander Reid Redman to the Royals in exchange for Aaron Crow, a proven reliever who the Marlins could transition into the rotation.

Though it doesn’t jump off the page as a significant move, it certainly indicates that the Marlins are willing to tap into their organizational depth in order to make immediate improvements at the big league level.

As for what’s next, it’s still believed that James Shields will ultimately be out of the Marlins’ price range, though the club remains interested. It appears more likely that the club will instead attempt to upgrade by trading some of its Minor League talent in exchange for either a power bat or a front-line starter.

Crow, just 28 years old, was a good start, but the Marlins seem intent on making more improvements this winter.

— Paul Casella

1 Comment

Smart move, at less than $7 mill/year, if Jose recovers, it would be a steal, though he will be hating himself. But then health is right now a big question mark.

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