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Jose Fernandez trade would cost Red Sox Mookie Betts, Yoan Moncada, and more

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The Marlins wanted the world for Jose Fernandez. The good news is Boston seems to have said no.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Dombrowski has had a busy offseason already, but for all that adding the likes of David Price, Craig Kimbrel, and Carson Smith have pushed the Sox back into the realm of the contenders, it's might be the deals Dombrowski didn't make that look the best. Case in point: the trade for Jose Fernandez that the Marlins thought they could pull off with Boston.Via Peter Gammons:

"We thought we might be able to piece something together with the Red Sox," said a Marlins official. "With ERod (Eduardo Rodriguez), Mookie Betts, Christian Vazquez, Yoan Moncada and another pitcher I thought we had something that might work."

Listen, I understand the idea of asking for the world. When a team has a player they'd be happy not to trade, they can afford to be a little extravagant with their demands. But man, "I thought we had something that might work?" That doesn't sound like someone in the front office just throwing out as many names as he can think of just in case the Red Sox are crazy. That sounds like someone who thought this might be a real thing.

Thankfully, it seems not to have become one. And, God willing, will not anytime soon. Jose Fernandez is a phenomenal player, but he's also under contract for just three more years, just 64 innings--however good--removed from Tommy John Surgery. For comparison, the Red Sox would be giving up:

  • Six years of Eduardo Rodriguez
  • Six years of Yoan Moncada
  • Five years of Mookie Betts
  • Five years of Christian Vazquez
  • Best guess: Six years of Henry Owens or Brian Johnson

That last one isn't a sure thing, but they're the two names constantly thrown into trade rumors, specifically as a "one or the other" type of deal. It just fits too well not to at least guess at it.

I don't care how you try to evaluate this, it's a deal that would come out looking miserable for the Red Sox. If you think people were stunned by what the Diamondbacks gave up for Shelby Miller, this sort of trade would leave them looking downright sane. Forget the potential of Yoan Moncada, forget about years of service time. I think it's pretty easy to argue that this trade would actually make the Red Sox a worse team in 2016. Front-loading the rotation only goes so far, particularly when you're giving up one of the starting pitchers already most likely to succeed and one of the game's best young position players to boot.

No, Red Sox fans have to hope that the Marlins official in question was just plain delusional here. Because if he's not, it means this deal might have actually tempted Dave Dombrowski, and if it did, then it's easy to imagine that disaster isn't too far down the line.

The good news: there's no reason to think that's the case. Red Sox fans entered the offseason with some trepidation that, given Dombrowski's reputation for trading prospects, Boston's youth movement might find itself shipped elsewhere in a hurry. But with the Winter Meetings in the rearview mirror, the Red Sox have added an ace and rebuilt their bullpen, with their draft pick still in pocket and Manuel Margot (critically outside the four-deep top-tier in Boston's farm system) the best young player headed elsewhere. Dombrowski has been anything but wasteful, making it hard to believe this deal was anything more than a pipe dream for Miami.