Teams will call to see what it will take to acquire Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. The Marlins will either hang up or request an unrealistic package. Either way, Jose Fernandez is and should be untouchable ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline.
ESPN’s David Schoenfield listed each team’s most untouchable player in advance of the deadline, and Fernandez was selected for the Marlins. Schoenfield focused on Miami’s major league roster, but the club has made clear it doesn’t plan to move anyone on its 25-man roster.
While Fernandez, who has pitched to a 2.54 ERA and 2.07 FIP over 120.2 innings with the Marlins to this point, almost certainly won’t be available, the same should be true for Josh Naylor.
Naylor, Miami’s 2015 first round draft pick, has been mentioned in trade rumors as the Marlins pursue starting pitching depth. That shouldn’t be the case, though.
The Marlins have one of baseball’s weaker farm systems, which could make establishing themselves as buyers challenging before the deadline. The club could take on remaining contracts instead of yielding extra prospects, though given the current starting pitching landscape, that seems unrealistic.
Miami doesn’t have much depth at first base, with Justin Bour, a Rule 5 draft selection, having a productive year and proving he can be an effective starter. In a few seasons, Naylor could emerge as the starter.
Over 85 games this season, Naylor is batting .265/.315/.433 with nine home runs, 53 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
Miami already lost one established prospect, Chris Paddack, in the Fernando Rodney deal with the Padres, leaving clubs scouting their farm system little to chose from. But if the Marlins are adding a rental-type starter, Naylor’s name (though it inevitably will be) shouldn’t be brought up.
The Marlins’ ace isn’t going anywhere and their first round draft pick shouldn’t be either. If that’s the cost for starting pitching, perhaps the Marlins will be better suited to wait until the off-season to add a top starter.