Instead of discussing trades or free agent signings that may be imminent, President of Baseball Operations Mike Hill and General Manager Dan Jennings have made it their goal to make one thing clear at the GM meetings: Giancarlo Stanton is not available.
With the annual meetings ending on Thursday, Miami's front office wanted to get another point across: they are building around Stanton, Rookie of The Year Jose Fernandez, and left fielder Christian Yelich. Subtracting core players is something the Marlins reportedly have no desire to do.
Coming off of a season during which they lost 100 games, the Marlins are looking to keep a youthful lineup and pitching staff in tact.
"We're trying to get better and acquire players who help us now," Hill said in an interview with MLB.com.
The Phillies weren't the only team who have attempted to see if Miami would budge in terms of Stanton, who is arbitration eligible for the first time. His expected salary is around $7 million after getting paid just under $600,000 last season.
Miami continues to internally discuss a possible long-term contract for the power-hitting right fielder. Hill discussed the fact that the team will approach Stanton's contract situation on a year-to-year basis if a long term extension cannot be reached. The organization's consistent desire to build around the 24-year old would suggest that a deal will be proposed. It may be up to Stanton to decide if he wants to remain in Miami.
Despite the squad's recent struggles, the Marlins are high on their young talent. Jose Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi lead an efficient rotation and Christian Yelich, Stanton, and Marcell Ozuna are all player Miami developed and would love to consistently see in the lineup.
"We feel like we have a good young core of starting pitching, a good young core of productive outfielders, a healthy first baseman now and a Gold Glove [caliber] shortstop now," Hill said.
Because of last year's offensive inconsistencies, the Marlins are looking to add a pair of bats. Ideally, whether via trade or free agency, Miami would get a productive catcher and third baseman.
"We're looking to add to those pieces to win more games," Hill said. "Without putting a number on it, we need to improve -- 62-100 is not good enough."