Fish Stripes Inbox: Stanton extension, Pierre, outfield, and more

Mike Ehrmann

The Miami Marlins are facing some tough questions going forward, but Joe Frisaro and I will answer a few of them in the latest installment of Fish Stripes Inbox.

The Miami Marlins still have a few unanswered questions, and last week's inbox article with Joe Frisaro of MLB.com featured a few of those interesting questions. Let's delve into the questions and see what I think about those matters.

With the moves the team made this offseason, do you believe Giancarlo Stanton will accept a multiyear contract?
-- Adriano S., Santos, SP, Brazil

Adriano asks the most important question remaining of the Marlins' offseason: can the Fish interest Giancarlo Stanton with a contract extension? Frisrao's response makes me believe that this is not likely and that Stanton will go to arbitration this season. As he mentions, the Fish would likely have a deadline set to January 17, as Miami usually goes to arbitration with anyone they have not signed before exchanging salary figures. If the Fish do not make a move by then, then consider Stanton a year-to-year guy.

As we have mentioned earlier this offseason, an extension next year is essentially not an option for the cash-strapped Fish, as it would be a contract much closer to a free agent deal and would probably cost the team more money than they are willing to pay. Without that extension, expect hordes of trade rumors regarding Stanton for the upcoming season.

Juan Pierre was great as a pinch-hitter/pinch-runner coming off the bench, and he provides great leadership, as well as speed that we are lacking. What are the chances of bringing him back as an option off the bench? The only issue I see is that he could probably get a more regular role somewhere else.
-- Zack P., Miami

The Marlins already acquired a backup outfielder in Brian Bogusevic when they traded Justin Ruggiano. And Pierre has no shot of acquiring a full-time job elsewhere given his .247/.284/.305 (.264 wOBA) campaign last year; there is a reason even the Marlins only gave him 330 plate appearances last season. Pierre is a celebrated member of the 2003 team and a team favorite, but he is on his last legs for his career and appears on his way out at age 36/

The Marlins have a logjam in the outfield with Yelich, Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Marisnick. There are only three spots available. Is it possible that Stanton could eventually switch positions to first base at some point? If he is in fact in the Marlins' long-term plans, a switch to first would allow all four guys to play regularly and may help keep Stanton on the field, health-wise.
-- John Y., Miami

The pertinent point John brings up here is "if he is in fact in the Marlins' long-term plans." There is a legitimate question as to whether or not Stanton will remain on this team for the long haul, especially given that the franchise is not likely to extend him this offseason. Knowing that Stanton will either have to be extended or traded shortly, the Marlins really should not tinker with his position. If he is to be dealt, switching him to first base, especially when he remains a capable or better outfielder (despite a bad season last year), would be foolhardy. It would tank a good deal of his trade value and not provide the Marlins a lot of help.

It's important to note that Yelich was a high school first baseman, but unlike what Frisaro mentions, he isn't a switch option to first base either. Yelich's bat has yet to prove capable of sustaining first base, so Miami should not tank his value with a switch either.

The outfield of Jake Marisnick, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich is the potential outfield of the future, and it would be a defensive spectacle to see three capable center fielders playing the outfield together. But as long as Stanton's future remains uncertain with the team, one of those outfield spots will be taken. Currently, Marisnick or Ozuna could use more minor league seasoning, giving Miami more time to develop them.

Have you heard any talk of Sean Rodriquez coming to Marlins?
-- Michael G., Doral, Fla.

I think those talks are done given the Marlins' acquisition of Casey McGehee. The Fish were initially interested in Rodriguez as a third base option and versatile player, but nothing came of it and Miami is out of short-term trade bait.

If you have any questions, send them over to the website via email and I will address them in the next inbox piece!

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