Yahoo's Tim Brown wrote an article Tuesday morning that is sending shock waves throughout Miami (not to mention Boston and Los Angeles, if the rumors have any merit). When asked if this season's success, which has seen the Marlins rise from laughingstock to September relevance, has changed his opinion of the way the Miami Marlins' organization is being run, Stanton did not demur, as he has done in the past.
Instead, Stanton quite pointedly responded that "five months doesn't change five years."
He can be a free agent in two years. Already there's speculation he could be traded before then, before his arbitration years grow too rich for Loria. There've been suggestions the Marlins would seek to sign Stanton to a long-term contract at something like real market value, and it was impossible not to be reminded Monday night at Angel Stadium that the Los Angeles Angels have an archetypal ballplayer of their own. A year behind Stanton in service time, Mike Trout has $144.5 million coming over six years, starting in 2015. Trout also hits in front of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. Which is to say, Stanton does not.
When Stanton does get that contract, whether it's in Miami or not, it'll be for all or the better part of his prime. He does love Miami and the people there. He does believe they deserve a ballclub they can rely on. That's not entirely up to him. He can show up, grow into an MVP candidate before them, make good money, give them truly great moments. But will the Marlins compete? Will they commit to that? Have they yet?
Certainly, Stanton's response was ominous, but whether he stays or is traded, the Marlins still have him in the lineup for the remainder of 2014, which seems to be at the forefront of his mind at the moment as his team fights for a postseason berth.
"We've definitely done better than anyone thought we would do," Stanton said. "At the same time, we're still not where we need to be to keep playing beyond the designed schedule. …I want to be the only game on TV at the end of the day.
"We're definitely in a positive direction. But we have a month to go to make the playoffs."