At Marlins' charity event, Jose deflects rumors
Handing out turkeys, ace says he's excited for '16, clarifies Boras' role in innings talk
MIAMI -- Marlins ace Jose Fernandez is focused on getting ready for Spring Training, and he's not paying attention to rumors about his future in South Florida. The 23-year-old also says his agent, Scott Boras, will be part of discussions over how many innings he will throw in 2016.
Fernandez addressed speculation about his status with the team on Friday afternoon at a charity event at Marlins Park. The 2013 National League Rookie of the Year took part in distributing turkey dinners to those less fortunate in preparation for Thanksgiving.
All week Fernandez has been the center of reports that he may be traded, and that he had fallen out of favor with some of his teammates and the organization.
Fernandez dismissed any notion that he's not happy being with the Marlins.
"I have heard something," Fernandez said. "I'm not paying attention to it at all. My No. 1 goal is to get ready. I went into the offseason healthy. A lot of work, a lot of things to do. I really don't have no time to look into that stuff. It's not important to me.
"I'm looking forward to being with my teammates and winning some ballgames. Get ready to go to Spring Training healthy and have a nice long year with the boys. Hopefully we get the opportunity to win the World Series. That's the main goal. That's what the city deserves and that's what I'm trying to do."
At the General Managers Meetings recently, questions arose about an innings limit for Fernandez next year. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2014, and he returned to action on July 2, 2015. In August, he went on the disabled list with a right biceps strain and missed another month.
Fernandez was 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts and 64 2/3 innings this past season.
Recently, Marlins president David Samson said Boras would not be directly consulted about Fernandez's innings plan.
Fernandez noted he doesn't foresee any issues, but stressed the agent would be included in any talks, as well as his physician, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed the Tommy John surgery, and the team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan.
"We did this last year, with Scott Boras, [president of baseball operations] Mike Hill, [former general manager/manager] Dan Jennings," Fernandez said. "We all talked on the phone, my doctor. Kaplan was aware. We have done this, it's worked perfectly fine. We all agreed. We're all on the same page.
"I do not know what all this is all about, but Scott Boras will be there because he's my agent, and I get to decide who is going to be on my phone calls on my conference. It's that simple."
Fernandez says he will start his offseason throwing program in early December, and he anticipates being ready for Spring Training.
"I've been working like two or three times a day," he said. "I can't wait. Being here, it gets me excited. I walk into the clubhouse. That smell is how the season smells. It's very nice."