The New York Yankees have under gone a youth movement. They have re energized life into the Yankees as fans anticipate the next great Yankee team. Over the past few days there has been an increasing amount of talk that the Yankees should and will target Jose Fernandez in the offseason. I say the Yankees should say “No Thanks!” and why you should to!
Jose Fernandez is just 24 years old. He has already broken into the majors as a star. His first season he posted a 2.19ERA over 173 innings; however, the next two years he was plagued by injuries. He has already had Tommy John surgery, and this season has posted a 3.03ERA over 160 innings. That equates to a good season; however, let’s remember that, that is in the national league, and a lot of pitchers struggle to transfer from the NL to the AL.
Fernandez has had struggles in his limited amount of work he’s done in the AL. Though he has a respectable 3.47ERA in the AL. He has a 7.94ERA against the Tigers, a 3.95ERA against the Indians, a 4.50ERA against the Twins, and a 3.86ERA against the Rays. Keep in mind that for someone who is supposed to be as devastating as Fernandez, for teams to hit him that hard after seeing him just once makes you wonder what would happen after years of being seen by American League bats.
Again, his numbers against American League opponents is a small sample size, but typically small sample sizes for pitchers against teams that have never seen them favor the pitcher. Especially a pitcher with the capability of dominance such as Fernandez.
Fernandez also loves pitching in Miami. His ERA at home is 1.53 for a career, but balloons on the road where he is posting just a 4.07ERA. He also has a tendency to get fly balls, and we all know about right handed pitchers that induce fly balls at Yankee Stadium, and it’s not good.
When a pitcher moves from the AL to the NL a lot of times it isn’t that they have figured anything out. It’s just that the NL is less talented offensively, and they face the pitcher. It’s no secret that Ivan Nova, and AJ Burnett among others have found success in the NL after transferring from the AL. Another well documented case of a pitcher struggling to adapt to the AL was Johnny Cueto. Last season he posted a 2.62ERA with the Reds, but when he came to Kansas City he posted a 4.76ERA. This year since he has returned to the NL he has returned to form posting a 2.92 ERA with the Giants. Fernandez wouldn’t just be transitioning to the AL he would be transitioning to Yankee Stadium and the AL East.
Now, with all of that being said Jose Fernandez does have devestating stuff, and I do believe he could really help the Yankees; however, early asking prices being thrown around are: Clint Frazier, Torres, Sheffield, and atleast one more top pitching prospect. I would advise the Yankees stay away. The Yankees can still make trades for starters to help them if they want. Jose Quintana has proven to be an ace. He has a career ERA of 3.38 in the AL and is also a lefty. He’s posted the best season of his career this year as well with a 3.05ERA. He has thrown 200 innings in each of his last three seasons, and barring a setback should reach at least 200 innings again this season. He is still young at just 27 years of age.
Regardless, the Yankees can explore many trade options, but I would be extremely weary of looking to the National League. Especially if it comes with a high price tag. Free agency does show some promising starters to hit over the next three seasons. I’m just not sold on over paying for a National League pitcher with a history of arm troubles. His stuff is as good as anyone’s in the league, but the Yankees should maintain caution when looking at Fernandez.