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Giancarlo Stanton trade still unlikely

He is now an even more important piece of Miami’s roster.

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There will likely be interest in Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton this off-season, but it’s unlikely the organization trades him this winter, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.

After the sudden death of All-Star starting pitcher Jose Fernandez, it seems Stanton is in a position to become the face of Miami’s franchise. Though he has struggled to remain healthy at different points in his career, Stanton adds power to a Marlins lineup that at times lacks exactly that.

Stanton, 26, didn’t have a productive year with regard to batting line, posting a .240/.326/.489 average. Still, he hit 27 home runs and drove in 74, even with a stint on the disabled list.

The thought of moving Stanton could be tempting, mainly because the Marlins have one of baseball’s worst minor league systems. A trade involving Stanton almost certainly would result in the acquisition of several controllable starting arms.

Though Stanton’s deal is extensive and gets more expensive with each passing year, he will likely embrace a leadership role beginning in 2017. After Fernandez’s passing, he appeared to be one of several leaders in the clubhouse that helped get the Marlins to the end of the season.

The Marlins will be challenged to improve their starting staff this winter, but trading Stanton might not be the best approach. While Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich add power, it could be Ozuna who is dangled in trade talks.

Miami rarely makes players unavailable with regard to trades, but Martin Prado, Adam Conley, Yelich and Stanton seem to be unrealistic targets for opposing clubs. The Marlins have a core in tact and might be a few pieces away from competing routinely.

When the Marlins have their annual organizational meeting, the thought of trading Stanton might be discussed. But for the Marlins, it’s probably not an ideal scenario.