It’s no secret Jose Fernandez loved Miami. He said it often. His actions reflected it.
When it came down to discussing his future, though, Fernandez’s time with the Marlins appeared to be limited. Fernandez is represented by Scott Boras, who encourages his clients to test the free agent market.
As a result, he declined Miami’s $40 million extension offer when Fernandez was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. It seemed the Marlins would consider trading Fernandez before he was eligible for free agency.
Regardless, Fernandez enjoyed pitching in Miami enough that he might have considered changing agents if Boras was unable to get a deal with the Marlins done, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
An associate said even though Fernandez liked and respected Boras, he wanted to stay in Miami longterm and was considering taking meetings with other agents, concerned that Boras might not be able to strike a longterm deal with Miami.
He was due to become a free agent in 2018.
While Boras’ relationship with the Marlins hasn’t been positive, most notably after the Marlins demoted outfielder Marcell Ozuna and delayed his arbitration eligibility, he has been able to get deals done in the past. Wei-Yin Chen, a Boras client, signed a five-year deal with the Marlins last off-season.
As Jackson points out, it’s unclear whether Fernandez would have truly considered working with a new agent as a result of his relationship with Boras. But still, Fernandez seemed committed to staying with the Marlins.
Fernandez was Miami’s ace and almost certainly would have received an extensive contract when he was eligible. He was routinely in high demand and a large market team might have capitalized on the opportunity to add him to its rotation.
Fernandez passed away in a boating accident toward the end of the season, leaving the Marlins without a leader and top starting pitcher. This is just another example of how much he loved Miami.