Giancarlo Stanton will likely be a Marlin beyond July 31.
In his recent baseball notes column, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe notes that Marlins General Manager Dan Jennings has received several calls with regard to Stanton over the last few days as a result of Miami's recent struggles. But Jennings each time has told baseball executives that the Marlins' right fielder is unavailable.
The Marlins have yet to begin negotiating a contract extention with Stanton, but those talks may begin this offseason. Stanton first wanted to see that the organization was serious about winning before discussing his long term future.
Jennings won’t go so far as to say this offseason is crucial in getting Stanton signed long term. But it will tell whether Stanton buys into the notion that the Marlins are a team to be taken seriously.
"I think some things have changed for Giancarlo," Jennings said. "He’s taken a leadership role here. He knows we’re serious about winning and how much we want him to be part of that. He’s seen the team come together and the young talent developing around him."
In addition to recognizing the need to keep Stanton, who posted a.295/.393/.540 line heading into Sunday's contest, in Miami, Jennings reportedly met with owner Jeffrey Loria over the weekend to discuss the team's course of action as the July 31 trade deadline nears.
Jennings told Cafardo that has long as the Marlins were five or six games within the division lead by the All-Star break, the team would be a "buyer."
Friday when I spoke with Jennings, the Marlins were in New York to play the Mets, and were 5½ games behind the Nationals and Braves in the National League East. By Sunday, Jennings, who planned to meet with Loria this weekend, may have decided their course of action. Jennings said that if the Marlins were within five to six games of the division lead, they would seek to be buyers at the trade deadline.
Before Sunday afternoon's finale with the Mets, President of Baseball Operations Mike Hill told the Marlins are looking to add a starting pitcher and a second baseman who can serve as a leadoff man.
Miami has sought a consistent starter since Jose Fernandez went down, and a second base option with the injuries which have troubled Rafael Furcal.
But Miami isn’t just seeking any type of starter. The club is targeting controllable young arms, meaning those who are not on the verge of becoming free agents. The club has no interest in a rental.
"A rental, it may help you in the short term," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We want something we can move forward with. I think that will definitely influence the direction we go."
Along with a starting pitcher, the Marlins also are exploring second base options.
Miami could pursue Ian Kennedy or Jorge de la Rosa-type arms, and may turn to a Ben Zobrist-type to fill the second base hole. The Marlins likely won't want to deal any top prospects, and want to allow Andrew Heaney and Anthony DeSclafani more time to develop.
The Marlins seem to be taking the right approach to upgrade their roster heading into the break. It just remains a matter of finding the necessary upgrades.