The Marlins have indicated to Giancarlo Stanton that they'd like him to stick around past the point he becomes eligible for free agency. Whether Stanton would ever agree to a contract extension keeping him in Miami beyond the 2016 season is anyone's guess, and many feel the Marlins are facing an uphill battle.
Still, Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said Thursday in a radio interview that the team is interested in getting a long-term deal done with Stanton, and sooner would be better than later.
"We have had conversations with his representatives," Jennings told Jim Bowden and Holden Kusher on Sirius/XM's "Inside Pitch." "Anytime you're looking to long-term someone, certainly the sooner the better."
Stanton and the Marlins recently reached agreement on a 1-year deal that will pay him $6.5 million next season. He'll have two salary arbitration years remaining after this one, at which point he would become eliglble to offer his services to the highest bidder, and given the calls the Marlins have received from other teams expressing trade interest in Stanton, it's safe to say he'll command a hefty deal.
The Marlins know full well that if they have any chance at all of keeping Stanton, it'll take a sweet proposal. Stanton will very likely hit eight figures in his second year of arbitration, and his salary will go even higher in his third and final year. So those would be starting points for the Marlins in negotiating any deal in which they would also try to buy out three or more seasons after 2016.
"There's a bit of comfort that goes to the player knowing he has security for 'x' number of years and to the organization that now has cost certainty for 'x' numbr of years," Jennings said. "In terms of a timetable, we think sooner is better. It has been discussed and talked about with both Giancarlo and his agent. Now it's just a matter of, 'OK, let's continue to talk about this' and come up with a number of years and a dollar (amount) that's going to reflect his value to us in the marketplace and move forward from there."