UPDATE (12:00 PM CST): The Astros are not the "mystery team," according to a report from Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Giants and Dodgers are still in the mix for Fernandez.
ORIGINAL: For a pitcher that is apparently unavailable, the rumors around Jose Fernandez are heating up. Now, a mystery team has joined the mix for Fernandez, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.
Sources: Mystery team making "very strong" bid for Jose Fernandez. Other clubs believe it's the Astros. More soon at https://t.co/gtnhE81RUu— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 8, 2015
The Astros would join the Dodgers, Yankees and Diamondbacks as teams interested in the young righty. If it is indeed the Astros, they do make a lot of sense considering the price tag that the Marlins have placed on Fernandez.
How exorbitant is the price on Jose Fernandez? Sources say the Marlins have asked the Dodgers for Julio Urias and Corey Seager.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 7, 2015
Marlins said to be seeking "5 or 6" great young players in trade for Jose, one gm says. Many MLB ready too.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 7, 2015
Houston has one of the better prospect systems in all of baseball, with them and the Cubs having deep systems to pluck from. Five or six great young players, including some MLB ready, is a price tag that even those two teams might balk at. The Astros were looking for pitching last July, when they ended up trading for Scott Kazmir. If they were looking to make the big splash and get Fernandez, they have the prospects and the payroll space to make this move.
The price tag still may remain too high for a lot of these teams, leaving them to drop out. With the Marlins in no rush to move Fernandez, a lot more may take place here before he is potentially moved.
And hey, who knows, it could be an entirely different team that enters this race and gets Fernandez.