According to Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald, the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins reportedly had “serious discussions” involving a trade that would have seen outfielder Teoscar Hernandez sent to the Marlins. The return would have reportedly been in exchange for third baseman Brian Anderson and one of the Marlins starting pitchers (at minimum).
These discussions were back in November, and now that the Jays have traded for Matt Chapman and also signed southpaw Yusei Kikuchi, along with Miami adding Jorge Soler and Avisail Garcia to multi-year deals, it is unlikely Hernandez will be going anywhere any time soon.
Prior to the Marlins signing Garcia and Soler, they were in some serious need of outfield help, and arguably still could use Hernandez in center field given their current options. While it isn’t necessarily his most played position, he does boast 819.1 innings in center field, which is a sizeable upgrade over potential options in Bryan De La Cruz and Jon Berti. Garcia also has some experience in center at 659.0 innings but boasts a career -10 bDRS compared to Teoscar’s -6 bDRS. The Marlins also have to contend with the designated hitter rule, so Hernandez could have seen some action there as well.
The most notable loss for the Blue Jays would have been Hernandez’s bat, as the consecutive Silver Slugger Award winner has been swinging a hot bat since the start of 2020. Through the past two seasons, he owns a .295/.345/.538 slash line with 48 home runs, 150 RBI, and a .882 OPS while splitting time in right field and as the designated hitter.
Prior to the lockout, the Blue Jays and Marlins were reportedly discussing a deal that would have sent Teoscar Hernandez to the sunny shores of Miami.
The return for Hernandez would have helped the Jays at third base (before the Chapman trade), as Anderson has a .958 fielding percentage through 284 games at the hot corner. The righty-batter also owns a .770 OPS through 1566 at-bats along with 49 home runs and 205 RBI.
Interestingly enough is the potential pitcher(s) that would have been traded to Toronto, as the Miami Marlins do have some intriguing young arms who would have really solidified the Jays rotation prior to the Kikuchi deal and the Kevin Gausman signing (although I would think that the Jays still would have gone after Gausman even after a potential trade).
My gut instinct would be that either Sandy Alcantara or Pablo Lopez would be heading to the Blue Jays, although the Marlins do also have Elieser Hernandez and Trevor Rogers that they could have pitched in trade discussions. I don’t think Hernandez or the Marlins’ fifth starter in Jesus Luzardo would have gotten the deal done and including Rogers might have been a tough sell for Miami given he has five more years of contract control.
Both Alcantara and Lopez would have been solid additions to the Jays rotation and while Alcantra signed a five-year extension late in November, he could have been involved in trade talks prior to signing his extension. The only real caveat to trading for Lopez is that he did miss time on the IL last season and made just 20 starts compared to Alcantara’s 33, but either pitcher on the Jays roster would have made the rotation a lot stronger alongside Gausman, Hyun Jin Ryu, Alek Manoah, and Jose Berrios.
Trading Hernandez might have also ruffled a few feathers amongst the Blue Jays fanbase as well, as the Dominican product has surely entered the conversation as being a fan favourite amongst the Jays faithful.
Overall, the trade talks eventually fell through and the Blue Jays and Marlins looked elsewhere to complete their rosters. If the Marlins are still looking for a center fielder, may I interest you in Randal Grichuk?