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Rumor: Yankees could deal for Marlins ace Jose Fernandez in off-season

If it’s one thing the New York Yankees should be in the market for this coming off-season whether they make the postseason or not, it’s starting pitching.

As we all know, the Yankees started the rebuilding process at this year’s trade deadline, stocking up a number of prospects by trading away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova.  Without much available pitching as far as free agency goes, general manager Brian Cashman could look to use some of New York’s highly-touted farm system to land a big arm heading into the 2017 campaign.

Following the loss of Nathan Eovaldi to flexor tendon and Tommy John surgery, the Yankees will head into next season with Masahiro Tanaka atop the rotation, adding Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, and a number of youngsters like Luis Severino, Chad Green, Luis Cessa and possibly Justus Sheffield in the mix.  Pineda has not had his best stuff working in 2016 and CC has looked solid for the most part, but ideally those two would occupy the back-end of the rotation.  Severino, Green, Cessa and Sheffield are wildcards, unknowns if you will.  It’s likely Severino could continue to find himself out of the bullpen in a long relief role next season, given how he’s been performing in that role so far.

That being said, if the Yankees have any desire to shorten their rebuild, which is not a far-fetched thought with the young talent on the roster, Cashman will need to package some of these prospects for at least one ace/high-end starter to pair with Tanaka.

The most intriguing candidate?  Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez.

According to John Harper of the New York Daily News, an executive from an MLB team told him last week that, “They’re going to trade him.  It’s just a matter of when.”

Harper continued and provided a glimpse of what a deal between the Yankees and Marlins for Fernandez could look like:

So what would it take to get him? The executive I spoke to thinks it would take four of the Yankees’ young players, two of them blue-chippers.

So what would it take? Probably a package of Clint Frazier, the dynamic outfield prospect they acquired for Andrew Miller, as well as one of their highly-touted shortstop prospects, Gleyber Torres or Jorge Mateo, plus a couple of young pitchers, likely including Justus Sheffield, the lefthander in the Miller deal.

The suggested cost is a bit steep, but New York would get a 24-year-old stud pitcher who has re-established his dominance and is one of the best in the game today.

Since debuting in 2013, Fernandez boasts a 2.62 ERA and 1.068 WHIP – ERA being a mark that ranks third in Major League Baseball among starters with at least 425 innings pitched over that time period.  The top two pitchers in ERA?  Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta – so yeah, he’s in pretty good company.

In 2016, Fernandez is 13-8, owns a 3.03 ERA, 1.166 WHIP, and leads the league in K/9 with 224 strikeouts in 160.1 innings of work for Miami.

Fernandez will be two years away from free agency after the 2016 season, and after the $325 million contract the Marlins gave outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, will they be willing to pay top dollar for Fernandez after 2018?  Probably not.  With Mark Teixeira off the books at the end of this season, Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez next season, the Yankees will have a lot of money available to make moves in the next couple years.