The Miami Marlins are set to stay put for the rest of MLB trade deadline season, as the team is happy with the group of players it has. The franchise is confident that a full season of players like Christian Yelich, Jose Fernandez, Jacob Turner, and the other improved pitchers will do wonders for the organization in 2014.
But the Giancarlo Stanton situation still looms over all the player personnel moves the Marlins make. Stanton is set to enter his first arbitration season, and that will serve to make him more expensive than they can perhaps afford. The Fish are fully prepared to pay for Stanton next season, and the word is that the franchise would like to offer him a multi-year contract, though it remains to be seen if that will happen. Regardless the organization has insisted that Stanton is not available.
So you will not be surprised to hear teams still inquiring about Stanton's availability at the trade deadline. Count one of those teams as the Texas Rangers, who are calling the Marlins "every week" on Stanton and getting rejected, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The Rangers ask for Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton "every week," according to a major league source, but every week they get the same answer — "no." So Texas is considering Rios as well as a number of other right-handed hitters, including the Marlins’ Justin Ruggiano and Padres’ Chris Denorfia, sources said.
The reason the Marlins have shown no indication to trade Stanton at the moment is because they are not yet convinced he would not join the team long-term. The organization still believes it has a chance to sign him to an extension if they offer it this offseason, presumably because the two sides have yet to really have a lengthy conversation on the topic. Until Stanton definitely denies a potential extension, the Marlins are unlikely to trade him away.
The Rangers have been aggressive all season, apparently preparing trade offers all season long, but they have been thwarted each time. The Fish were never going to deal Stanton this season unless an offer blew them away, and no offer could be made of that caliber at this time. Furthermore, the Rangers clearly have become a less attractive trade partner thanks to the Matt Garza deal. The Rangers sent away third base prospect Mike Olt, who was always one of the Marlins' premier targets in a potential deal. They still have previous top prospect Jurickson Profar, who is struggling so far in the majors but should begin to perform better, but the remaining players for the rest of the package are significantly worse. The Rangers had just two players in the top 75 prospects in Minor League Ball's John Sickels's midseason updated top 75 list, and the only one on Baseball-America's list was Mike Olt.
The Rangers may still want an outfielder and might inquire about Justin Ruggiano, whom we discussed yesterday. Ruggiano would not be a great fit as a future outfield cornerstone, but he is a serviceable player with three years of team control remaining. He also has some questionable performance issues, and about a year and change into the Justin Ruggiano experience, no one yet knows exactly what he is. That is perhaps why the Rangers, according to Rosenthal, have yet to take a Ruggiano trade seriously and have not made any headway in that regard.
If the Marlins could offer Ruggiano for a decent return, they absolutely should, as he may be a league average hitter under team control. But the Fish will absolutely not rush into a Stanton trade, especially now that the Rangers' are one prospect down in a potential Stanton package. All signs are clear for Stanton to remain at least until this offseason despite regular offers.