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Ken Rosenthal: Miami Marlins should still trade Giancarlo Stanton

At the end of July, Ken Rosenthal explained why the Miami Marlins should trade Giancarlo Stanton. And even after Stanton has become one of the favorites to become the NL MVP, Rosenthal still believes the Marlins don't have what it takes to keep Stanton.

Mike Ehrmann

The Miami Marlins don't want to trade Giancarlo Stanton. That much has been made clear by the organization's front office. But FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is still convinced the Marlins don't have much of a chance of keeping the star right fielder.

At the end of July, Rosenthal wrote the Marlins will not be able to afford Stanton, and even though Stanton has been noted as a favorite to be the National League's MVP, Rosenthal is still confident in his belief.

I’m not taking it back — I still don’t think Stanton will sign long term with the Marlins, and I don’t think owner Jeffrey Loria will cough up the necessary $200 million-plus to make such a deal happen. But in one sense, I may have spoken too soon.

The Marlins are an actual contender, or at least what passes for an actual contender in Wild-Card World.

Stanton, who was batting .299/.405/.564 with 94 RBIs heading into Sunday afternoon's contest against the Rockies, has made it clear he wants to play for a winning team. And while the Marlins are not atop the National League East, they have remained competitive for most of 2014.

Miami, coming off of a 100 loss 2013, has depended on its pitching to remain in games. But Stanton, along with Christian Yelich and Casey McGehee, has helped the Marlins' offense have a productive year.

With Andrew McCutchen and Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list, Stanton does have a good chance to win the MVP award. He has had a consistent season and has been completely healthy to this point, all points that will likely be brought up in offseason negotiations.

If Stanton does or does not want to remain in Miami, though, being named the MVP may not be a breaking point. Miami's future core, which Rosenthal expains has been notably productive, has appeared to grow, but Stanton has also been linked to his hometown Dodgers and the Red Sox.

None of this changes the reality with Stanton, whom the Marlins can afford next season even if his salary in arbitration increases to the $10 million range, but whose trade value diminishes with each day he gets closer to free agency.

The Marlins are not internally optimistic about their chances of keeping Stanton, but they have also made it clear they would not mind holding on to him without an extension and keeping him up until he is eligible to become a free agent.

Stanton leads the National League in Wins Above Replacement, and Rosenthal believes that the Marlins' ability to quickly bounce back after the firesale trade with Toronto proves they can win without superstars.

But it took the Marlins only one season to recover from the purges of Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Co. Who’s to say they can’t make this work?

The Marlins are contending. They can contend again next season if they keep Stanton. And if they play this right, they eventually can contend without him.

Rosenthal's comparison is questionable because of the struggles of the 2012 team. Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle are all plus players, but they were traded because they were struggling. Miami's recovery is indicative of player growth, but since the 2012 squad was inconsistent, there was not a lot to build off of.

Stanton is a distinct player and unique talent. He will likely be a Miami Marlin for at least another season, and if the Marlins want to win, there is no reason to trade him moving forward.