Last week, Miami Marlins General Manager Dan Jennings confirmed what President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill said in prior weeks: outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is not available. Stanton is arbitration eligible for the first time, although the Marlins shouldn't have difficulty covering his $6 million 2014 salary.
Hill said in past weeks that the Marlins are looking to "build around" Stanton, not trade him.
"Mr. Stanton is not available," Jennings said during an XM radio interview. "He is going to be in right field at Marlins Park and looking forward to having a big year with him. We're excited. We think it's going to be a lot of fun building around him and what he can mean to this ballclub and that city."
In addition to discussing Miami's plans for their right fielder, Jennings also explained the team's offseason approach. As owner Jeffrey Loria insisted after the end of the season, Jennings said adding offensive weapons at the third base and catcher positions is essential.
During the interview, Jennings said that Miami's scouts were discussing both Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks and power-hitting Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo. The Marlins would have to make a trade to acquire one or both players, although Jennings reportedly admitted to really liking both.
"Third base certainly is a spot we have to look at as an upgrade there," Jennings said. "We have to do something offensively at least to bring in a guy to help with [Jeff] Mathis. We like [Rob] Brantly. He may need a little more time in the minor leagues or at least come into camp and have to fight to earn a spot. Those areas right there are probably the two that we're going to have to have a little better production."
Jennings also mentioned that the organization feels first baseman Logan Morrison heading into spring training healthy is "something that will benefit us and him."
If Miami wanted to make a trade, they have the young pitching depth to do it. In addition to having several starting minor league prospects, the Marlins also have youthful relievers available if a team is looking to add depth to their bullpen.
The Sun-Sentinel noted that Boston is expecting to make an offer to shortstop Stephen Drew, which would force prospect Xander Bogaerts to start at third, making Middlebrooks a trade candidate. The third baseman hit just .227 but drove in 49 runs in 94 games.
Trumbo would directly affect Miami's payroll in the short term. He is arbitration eligible for the first time coming off of a season during which he hit 34 home runs and drove in 100 runs.
"We like both guys," Jennings said. "We're not there yet in terms of close to any deals."