The passing of Jose Fernandez has come as a great shock and a huge blow to the baseball community. Teammates, coaches, competitors, and fans have all been at a loss for words after the news broke yesterday.
I too have just been in a little bit of a daze. I never met Jose, never watched him play in person, but he was a part of the baseball community/family. Baseball brings strangers together, and when a talented player, and by all accounts amazing person, dies way to young it affects the entire baseball family.
Writers who knew Jose have written AMAZING articles and tributes to Jose so I’m not going to try and pretend like I have the right to talk about Jose as an individual. Others with far my talent and connection to Jose have done that. I am going to talk about what I think this could mean for the Marlins.
On The Field Impact
As much as every player wants to win a World Series I would not be shocked if a few players just want to get the season done with so they can return home and be with their families to heal some from this.
For the front office and coaches of the Marlins they are going to have to figure out a brand new plan for the organization. It is no secret that Fernandez was one of two key pieces for this team moving forward. He is without a doubt one of the best, maybe even three best, starting pitchers in the game. As a team you don’t just lose a key player like this and recover overnight.
A decision has to be made if there is enough hope in the current talent to be able to make legitimate runs the next 2-3 years, or does the team need to be retooled. Fernandez was still a very affordable player and to even attempt to fill his lose on the field is going to take more than a single player that is going to cost more money.
All of this to say I wouldn’t be surprised if the Marlins start shopping a few of their younger players to try and stock up on even younger talent to make a push in 3-4 years. The Nationals and Mets are pretty strong right now and the Braves seem to be growing stronger with their young talent, which could give the Marlins a reason and a template to work with over the next couple offseasons.
This also has a huge impact on Giancarlo Stanton. Although his contract is pretty large, in the later years, he does have an option at some point to opt out and hit free agency. He wants to win and if the Marlins do trade away talent or fail to fill the wins that Fernandez brought to the table, he might not stay long in Miami. I’m not sure if he has a no trade clause in his contract but either way he might not be in Miami for much longer.
This would have an impact across the entire Major League Baseball. Wherever Stanton and some of the other young talented players on the Marlins roster go could tip the scales of a division and give a team the final piece they need to make a run at the World Series.
Fernandez’s passing has impacted all of baseball today, but it might impact baseball for years to come. Like every baseball player and team in Major League Baseball today, I would rather have my team face Jose Fernandez at 100% every game of the year instead of never getting to see him walk on a field ever again. He will be missed.