In addition to introducing Don Mattingly as the team's new manager on Monday, Marlins president David Samson spoke with reporters regarding several interesting bits of news.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald provides a roundup of what was discussed. Among the many things Samson covered, most notable was the fact that ace pitcher Jose Fernandez declined a multiyear contract extension from the team in the months before he returned from Tommy John surgery last July.
"[Fernandez] was offered what we thought was a very fair, tremendous amount of money," Samson said. "I don’t believe he had any interest in having another offer [this winter], but we always will talk. He is ours for three years at a minimum."
While it may not be surprising that Fernandez turned down an extension -- given that his agent is Scott Boras -- it does provide an interesting scope of what the next few years might be like for the 23-year-old. If Fernandez is intent on reaching free agency, he'll hit the market at age 26 following the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Depending on whether or not he's still pitching the way he has so far in his career, that could mean an unprecedented pay day for the right-hander.
On a related note for the Marlins, Samson also discussed whether or not the team plans to get involved in any high-price bidding for free-agent starters this offseason. He shot down the notion bluntly.
"We will not be going after David Price. We will not be going after Zack Greinke," Samson said. "In my experience, those free-agent contracts don’t work, and I would never have [owner] Jeffrey [Loria] spend his money that way and incur more losses for a contract like that that [doesn't] work. Longterm position player contracts work. I just don’t think longterm pitching contracts work."
One final bit of news regarding Miami. Samson told reporters that right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who underwent shoulder surgery in July, will not be ready for the start of the regular season. Samson said the team has a "difficult" decision to make regarding whether or not it should tender a contract to Alvarez by the early December deadline.
Here are a few more rumors regarding other teams around the majors:
Toronto Blue Jays: Although the team has Tony LaCava serving as its interim general manager, new president Mark Shapiro intends to conduct a thorough search for a full-time GM, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca writes. According to Nicholson-Smith, Shapiro declined to say whether or not LaCava will be considered for the permanent position. The reason the Blue Jays are looking to fill the position stems from previous GM Alex Anthopoulos' decision to leave the team last week. Shapiro touched on the matter during his introductory press conference on Monday. "I understand the disappointment. I share the disappointment," Shapiro said. "We’re going to move forward and seek to build a winning team and winning organization."
Daniel Murphy: Could the Baltimore Orioles be players in the sweepstakes for Murphy this offseason? Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com discusses the matter, noting that the Orioles like Murphy and may try to sign him. Murphy, who has spent his entire career as a member of the New York Mets, is a free agent for the first time this offseason. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com forecasts Murphy's future, calling it "highly unlikely" that Murphy returns to the Mets. That being said, New York is expected to offer Murphy a qualifying offer. With that in the mix, the O's may shy away from giving up a draft pick to land the 30-year-old, especially since they already have Jonathan Schoop at second base.
Options: With yesterday marking the first day of the offseason, plenty of teams announced decisions on their players that have contract options. The St. Louis Cardinals exercised their option on left-hander Jaime Garcia but turned down their option on reliever Jonathan Broxton. The Nationals declined their options on outfielder Nate McLouth and reliever Casey Janssen. Also, the Cincinnati Reds declined their options on utilityman Skip Schumaker and reliever Burke Badenhop. All the above-mentioned players to have their options declined are now free agents.