Marlins' prez: Not shopping Fernandez, Ozuna
MIAMI -- Before speculation progresses any further, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill on Thursday stated the club is not actively shopping either Jose Fernandez or Marcell Ozuna.
A number of clubs have contacted the Marlins about both young standouts, but the feedback they're getting is they aren't likely to be traded.
Fernandez, the 23-year-old ace, won the 2013 Baseball Writers' Association of America National League Rookie of the Year Award. In his first season eligible for arbitration, Fernandez on Wednesday was tendered a contract for 2016. How much he will make still must be negotiated.
Hill put to rest the notion that the Marlins are open to dealing the hard-throwing right-hander.
"Not sure where all of that came from," Hill said. "He sits at the front of our rotation. We are not shopping Jose Fernandez. I don't know what more I can say. He's a good pitcher, one of the best in the league, so you're going to get asked about him. But we are not shopping Jose Fernandez."
Hill briefly addressed Fernandez and Ozuna on Thursday during a conference call to preview the Winter Meetings, which begin on Monday in Nashville, Tenn.
"Whenever I've gotten a call, that's what I've told my counterparts, but people are always going to call," Hill said of Fernandez. "People are always going to ask. We had to deal with that with [Giancarlo] Stanton, until Stanton was signed. I think that's just the nature of our industry. It's part of it. You just have to tell people where you stand with them. Either they take you at face value, or they keep calling."
Ozuna, the 25-year-old outfielder, is drawing calls from numerous clubs. Miami is aiming to retain its core, and the team is planning on Ozuna being in center field when Spring Training begins.
"Contrary to some of the myriad of rumors out there, we are not actively shopping him," Hill said of Ozuna. "Clubs are coming after him because he's a talented player. If you have talented players, clubs are going to call and ask for them. When someone calls, we listen to see if it is something that makes sense, both in the short-term and the long-term."
• The Marlins also are getting close to finalizing manager Don Mattingly's coaching staff. An announcement could come before the Winter Meetings begin.
• Stanton, recovering from a broken left hamate bone, started swinging the bat this week. Indications he is not experiencing any pain in his hand.