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Keeping Giancarlo Stanton: A 4-Step Plan

ORLANDO -- Even though general manager Dan Jennings has gone on record saying the Marlins have no intention of trading Giancarlo Stanton, it probably won't stop teams from asking about him at this week's annual gathering of front office execs. Baseball's big boys would love nothing better than to pry away one of the game's elite young sluggers.

The questions are: How intent are the Marlins on keeping him around for the long-term? And how interested is Stanton in even remaining a Marlin in the future?

The Marlins are mulling whether to offer an extension that would buy out Stanton's three upcoming arbitration years and perhaps two or three years of free agency. But even if such an offer was considered fair and reasonable, there is no guarantee Stanton would accept it.

Which is why, if the Marlins are genuinely interested in holding on to Stanton for the long haul instead of trading away another homegrown star the way they did Miguel Cabrera once his salary become too rich for their blood, they might need to do more than present him with a conventional, dollars-and-cents contract.

Here, then, is a four-pronged proposal that might -- might -- sway Stanton to make himself comfortable in Miami:

1) Offer Stanton a 6-year deal for $95-100 million. As a benchmark, the Marlins worked out a 6-year, team-friendly deal with Hanley Ramirez for $70 million. But Stanton could command a higher figure given the sharp decline in power in the post-steroids era. Stanton is a natural wonder, and players like him are now few and far between.

2) Include either full or partial no-trade protection for Stanton. While the Marlins have made it their practice not to offer players no-trade protection, Stanton is the one player who could -- and should -- be made the exception to the rule. If not him, who?

3) Shorten the fences. The outfield dimensions at Marlins Park are a joke. It ranked as the most difficult ballpark in the majors in which to homer. While that fact alone wasn't the only reason the Marlins were the majors' lowest-scoring team, pulling up the rear by a wide margin, it was very clearly a contributing factor. Stanton and Logan Morrison, among others, have complained about it openly. But I've also spoken to a few Marlins pitchers who, privately, said they could live with modest reductions to the dimensions, and that they'd trade a few percentage points on their ERA's for increased run support.

4) Show a commitment to winning. In Stanton's 3 1/2 seasons, the Marlins have finished last three times while losing 80 more games than they've won. Coupled with the losing was the nearly complete dismantling of the 2012 team, which left Stanton exposed in the weakened lineup. As a result, Stanton was given little to hit, and he suffered through a disappointing season in which his offensive numbers suffered. He needs help, needs the Marlins to surround him in the lineup with qualify hitters and not a cast of developing rookies. The Marlins need to get him that help, and now. Whether they can with a payroll that is expected to fall within the $40 million to $50 million range is questionable.

Even if the Marlins do all that, there's no guarantee Stanton will agree to put his name on the dotted line and stay long term. But if the Marlins do nothing more than offer him the bare basics, they might make the decision easy for him.

Comments

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Marios

Stanton is gone and I would be too. He'll be wearing Dodger blue by the end of next year.
The trades last year brought unexpected talent so they need a few veterans to make us competitive, but it won't happen. Loria is toxic and nobody wants to get near him except over the hill and injury prone veterans looking for a last paycheck.

a

Marlins now have a good chance to make a good trade offering Giancarlos Stanton; they can get for him three guys they need; # 1.- a decent 3rd base, # 2.- A decent catcher and # 3. A decent reliever: maybe the trade should be mainly with Toronto to get 3rd base Lowry has first piece of the trade. Marlins have in Miguel Ozuna good replacement for Stanton in the right field.

DR NO

Why would Stanton want to stay in the anus of MLB???

A Realist

As a die-hard Marlins fan, I want to see the Marlins fall flat on their face AGAIN!! This will force MLB to put pressure on Loria and field a better team. If not, he will leave and leave behind the headache of ruining this franchise. The best thing for this franchise is to be even worse this year than last. That sounds horrible, but if we want Loria out thats what has to happen. The best way for this to happen is for Stanton to be traded. I understand he is a talent, but he's really not that special. Defensively he is a liability. Offensively he's a dope and still hasn't figured out how to lay off low and outside pitches. We can have someone out there who hits for a better average and plays better defense. Homeruns aren't everything. Stanton is not Cabrera and never will be so lets stop making that comparison. Cabrera can hit for average and power. Stanton can't.

smith&wessonoil

People are still talking about MLB putting pressure on Loria to field a better team. It ain't gonna happen, ever. Selig and Loria are best buds, and even if Selig retires and a new commissioner comes on board, there is simply no way anybody is going to step in and pressure Loria. The Cubs and the Pirates, until recently, have been doormats of the league for years and nobody has done a thing. So dream on if you want to, but losing isn't going to help. The Marlins have been losers for the last 10 years, so five more years won't make any difference.

Lucifer

will enjoy another losing season from the marlins. and another...and another...and another...they will never be winners on the field as long as Loria is the owner. until death do they part.

Martin Walsh

Mr.Stanton would look great in a Red SOX uniform with the Green Monster instead of the green cavern.

Wayne

In response to "Realist"...
I couldn't agree with you more on most of your post. However, if you recall how this formula goes, from past experience, ...after the fire sale and the throw away season, and the team full of rookies and has beens, you can a season of improvement. It's almost impossible to have a ML team as bad as that again. Some of the youngsters have to be a little better. So you get slight improvement. The front office throws in a little PR about growing pains, etc, and create a feeling of hope for the future. After a couple years of slight improvement, they tear it down and start all over again.
If you are waiting for MLB to step in and force anything, you must be forgetting about the Expos. After running that team into the ground, Loria was bailed out by MLB. And given the reins to the Marlins. Here we go again.

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