Jose Fernandez reportedly on trade block

By: Andy Slater (@AndySlater)

Marlins president David Samson told the Miami Herald in early November that Jose Fernandez rejected a multi-year contract offer. Now the team's star pitcher is reportedly on the trading block.

SiriusXM's Craig Mish sent out a tweet on Tuesday saying "growing sentiment around baseball and internally with the Marlins is Jose Fernandez will be traded this offseason."

My sources within the organization told me on several occasions that Fernandez would eventually be dealt for certain reasons, but no timeline was provided. Mish's report says it could be very soon. 

As far as those reasons, I reported several last week on my weekday radio show on 940-AM WINZ and iHeartRadio.

I was told by multiple player sources that Fernandez wants out of Miami "ASAP". 

The Marlins also are not happy with Fernandez's attitude, which may come as a shock to many. "Jose is a different person on and off camera," one player source told me. "Jose talks to management like they are children," he added. 

Another player source told me Fernandez "gets a little selfish at times and isn't the best in the clubhouse." 

Mish told me by phone his sources say the Marlins are looking for a "franchise altering" deal" and will get one this offseason.

Samson told WPLG's Will Manso the Marlins "do not comment on trade rumors. Some players are more likely to be traded than others. Jose fits in the latter category." Samson concluded by saying Fernandez "is a Marlin for at least the next three years and hopefully longer." writer Joe Frisaro reports multiple high placed sources tell him that the Marlins are "not shopping or intending to shop" Fernandez. Frisaro did say "conversations are ongoing with a number of clubs about possible trade scenarios. None are believed to include a major core player like Fernandez." 

Fernandez won't be eligible for free agency until the conclusion of the 2018 season.  

Marlins contacted Bud Black the day after he was fired

By: @AndySlater

Bud Black was managing the San Diego Padres from 2007 until June 15, 2015, the day he was fired. Less than 24 hours later, another team was already interested in his services and contacted him. That team was the Miami Marlins, according to a source close to the situation. 

When the Marlins reached out to Black to express interest, Dan Jennings was 27 games into his tenure as the team's new manager. Jennings, who had a 12-15 record at the time,  took over for Mike Redmond on May 18 after the team decided to make a highly criticized change. Redmond was fired and Jennings was moved from the front office to the dugout. 

Interest between Black and the Marlins in June was mutual. It's unclear if that interest remains at the same level three months later. The Marlins had no comment when reached Wednesday morning. 

Reports have recently surfaced stating the Marlins are currently in the process of searching for a manager to replace Dan Jennings.  It's expected that Jennings will be relieved of at least his managerial duties at the end of the season. ESPN's Enrique Rojas first reported that former Nationals and Indians manager Manny Acta was interviewed by the Marlins on Tuesday.

The next manager of the Marlins will be the team's fourth in the past five seasons. 



Marcell Ozuna may be on the farm for more than one reason


By: @AndySlater

Update: July 30, 5:00pm (Marlins President of Baseball Operations, Michael Hill Speaks on Ozuna's status)

July 25, 2015

Marcell Ozuna's .289 batting average dropped to .249 from June 12 to July 5. It was that day when the Marlins decided to drop Ozuna to the minor leagues.  

The move was somewhat surprising for the struggling team as they needed any proven bat they could have in the offensively-challenged lineup. However, to some, it's more of a surprise that Ozuna is still with the Marlins minor-league affiliate in New Orleans almost three weeks after being demoted. 

As of July 25, Ozuna was hitting .353 with 2 home runs in 51 at-bats for the Triple-A team.  Meanwhile, the major-league team is without its two best bats in Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon because of injury. 

There could be two reasons the Marlins haven't called upon Ozuna again. The team may want him to continue to work out any kinks they feel are necessary before he rejoins the big-league club.   The other reason may be the arbitration clock.

Players need to be on a major-league roster just under three years (2 seasons plus 130 days) to begin the arbitration process, as explained by the website Fangraphs. Entering this season, Ozuna had one year and 153 days of service time. To reach arbitration status in 2016, Ozuna would need to be on the Marlins 25-man roster for about 149 days this baseball season, which began April 5 and ends October 4.  

Ozuna currently sits at two years plus 73 days of service time, according to my calculations.  That number puts Ozuna about 57 days shy of qualifying for arbitration. Going into tonight's contest at San Diego, the Marlins have 72 days remaining in their season (65 games, 7 days off). For Ozuna to qualify for the automatic, bigger paycheck next year, he'd have to be back with the team by August 8.  It should also be noted, according to rules, if Ozuna was recalled within 20 days of being sent to Triple-A, he would have received credit for major-league service time even while in New Orleans. 

During my weekday radio show on 940-AM WINZ and iHeartRadio, I asked Marlins' writer Joe Frisaro if Ozuna was being "punished." Frisaro pointed out "the business of baseball."

It should also not be forgotten how Ozuna turned down a reported contract extension in March 2015. Ozuna said his agent Scott Boras told him "don't hurry. Be waiting for the moment, and let's see what happens in a couple of years."

Did Boras and Ozuna irk the Marlins to a point where the team will make him wait an additional year for arbitration and free agency or is it solely Ozuna's mechanics and not the business of baseball that are keeping him on the farm?

Keep an eye on the calendar.

Photo Credit: StandingOSports