The Miami Marlins finished another last-place campaign in 2013, and as the team continues to build a roster capable of competing for a playoff spot, it wants young star Giancarlo Stanton to be a part of its future.
Jennings @marlins told us they have communicated with Giancarlo Stanton their desire to sign him to a longterm deal the soonerthebetter XM89—
JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) January 23, 2014
The 24-year-old outfielder is eligible for arbitration this year but cannot become a free agent until after the 2016 season. Stanton hit .249 with 24 home runs, 62 RBIs and a .365 on-base percentage in 116 games with the Marlins last season. He had little protection in the Miami lineup.
To sign Stanton to a long-term contract, the Marlins might have to make some other moves to prove they are serious about constructing a winning team. Stanton didn’t seem happy with the mega trade between the Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays before last season, when Miami sent shortstop Jose Reyes and other players to Toronto. He let his frustration be known via Twitter.
If the Marlins are unable to convince Stanton to sign, their only option might be to trade him while he’s still under team control. Miami cannot afford to allow its best hitter to leave via free agency and get nothing in return.