There were reports that the Marlins were answering the phone when teams called about their ace, Jose Fernandez, but not actively shopping him. Well, fine, I thought. The Giants wouldn't have the prospects to get him, so it wasn't a story that belonged at McCoveyChronicles.com.
And then I thought about Matt Duffy and his five years of cost-controlled promise. And the idea that the Marlins have been looking for an offensive-minded catcher for a couple years now. And then wondering if the Giants had enough prospects to throw on top of that pile. And then I started retching into a metal wastebasket. But that was probably because I had too much coffee on an empty stomach.
Now we have the first rumor involving the Giants and Marlins. Ready?
The Dodgers and NL West rival Giants and Diamonbacks all have been talking to the Marlins about young superstar pitcher Jose Fernandez, and while Marlins people maintain they have little to no interest in trading Fernandez, things appear to be percolating a bit with the Dodgers and perhaps one or two more teams.
That's it. That's the rumor. That's basically the only mention of the Giants in the whole thing, which goes on to caution that the Marlins really, really, really don't want to trade Fernandez away unless they're overwhelmed with an offer.
Don't bring up Brandon Belt as a replacement. He has two years left, and he's getting costly. Don't bring up Joe Panik as a replacement. The Marlins have Dee Gordon at second, and they're talking extension. No, the only thing that would make sense is Duffy plus Andrew Susac, with prospects thrown in. Considering that Duffy was projected to be a utility player at this time last year, this should make us happy, right?
The dream of the young, homegrown infield is strong, though. Going by the advanced metrics, Duffy was almost as good in his rookie season as Fernandez was in his, except Fernandez has pitched just over 100 innings in his last two seasons, combined. He's a Tommy John survivor, and he'll be a free agent in three seasons. There is risk, here, so much risk.
Yet you can argue that Fernandez is a special, generational talent, whereas Duffy is a very, very good player. And when you get the chance to swap the latter for the former, you do it. Reuben looked into all this a couple weeks ago, and it's all so very fascinating.
I don't want to answer this question because I don't want to look dumb in three years. I'll just let y'all panic and freak out about it. The Giants have been talking to the Marlins, though. There's about a one-percent chance that they could even meet halfway to keep talks going, but they've reportedly been talking.