It’s not even Opening Day yet, and the Miami Marlins already are struggling to sell tickets. The team that lost 100 games last season might need to fight to keep its top-billed player around.
The Marlins have sent out feelers on a possible long-term deal with their offensive centerpiece, Giancarlo Stanton, but the right fielder — while sounding happier with the club than he was last offseason — isn’t ready to bite just yet.
Stanton said this week that he’ll “need a season” seeing the team in action before locking himself into a long-term deal in Miami, according to John Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Stanton made headlines last winter with a six-word tweet aimed at his employer after the team traded away nearly half of its players and most of its payroll. Stanton made his feelings known, tweeting “Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple.”
The Marlins are keeping their heads above water this spring in the Grapefruit League, however, and the team’s arsenal of young pitchers will be a strength this season. Stanton is among those taking note of the possibilities in Miami and sounds ready to be part of the team’s future if the turnaround continues.
First-year Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said he was pleased to hear of Stanton’s current comfort.
“I like that,” Jennings said of Stanton’s positive early review. “Happy players are better players.”
The Marlins have signed Stanton, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, to a salary of $6.5 million.