MARLINS SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE
March 2: vs. FIU (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 3: vs. University of Miami (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 4: Off day
March 5: vs. Cardinals (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 6: at Red Sox (Fort Myers), TBA
March 7: vs. Mets (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 8: vs. Cardinals (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 9: at Mets (Port St. Lucie), 1:10 p.m.
March 10: vs. Nationals (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 11: vs. Mets (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 12: at Minnesota (Fort Myers), 1:05 p.m.
March 13: vs. Cardinals (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 14: at Nationals (ss) (Viera), 1:05 p.m.
March 15: vs. Tigers (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 16: Off Day
March 17: vs. Cardinals (ss) (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.; vs. Mets (ss) (Port St. Lucie), 1:10 p.m.
March 18: vs. Nationals (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 19: at Braves (Orlando), 1:05 p.m.
March 20: vs. Braves (Jupiter), 7:05 p.m.
March 21: at Nationals (Viera), 1:05 p.m.
March 22: vs. Twins (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 23: vs. Mets (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 24: vs. Red Sox (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 25: at Tigers (Lakeland), 1:05 p.m.
March 26: vs. Cardinals (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 27: at Astros (Kissimmee), 6:05 p.m.
March 28: vs. Astros (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
March 29: at Nationals (Viera), 1:05 p.m.
March 30: at Mets (Port St. Lucie), 1:10 p.m.
March 31: vs. Cardinals (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
April 1: vs. Nationals (Jupiter), 1:05 p.m.
PHOENIX -- The Marlins have long resisted granting no-trade protection to players. Only pitcher Javier Vazquez during the Jeffrey Loria ownership regime managed to coerce the Marlins into awarding him that contractual right, and that was only because his deal was for just one year.
But if the Marlins hope to convince Giancarlo Stanton into agreeing to a long-term extension, they know they might have to soften their stance and make an exception for their prized slugger.
"It's been a long-standing policy, but you're talking about a tremendous talent," acknowledged Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations, in a group media session on Tuesday. "You look at the marketplace and what other elite players have gotten...it'll definitely be a topic of discussion."
With the exception of Vazquez, the Marlins have steadfastly refused to grant no-trade protection to any of their free-agent signings. Just ask Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, who were shipped off to Toronto just one year after working out multi-year deals. It was that 2012 firestorm, recall, that angered not only the Miami fan base, but one notable Marlins player in particular: Stanton.
Now, in order to get a deal done with the star outfielder, the Marlins are fully aware they might have to give in on their anti-no-trade policy.
"Not to get any specifics about anyting," Hill said of ongoing contract talks with Stanton. "But we want the player to be a Marlin, and whenever that time comes and you get into the details of it, it's something that (the team will examine)."
With Stanton's long-term future serving as one of the major backdrops of the Hot Stove season, Hill and Marlins general manager Dan Jennings were swarmed instantly by baseball writers when they walked into a conference room Tuesday at the Arizona Biltmore.
Not surprisingly, given the almost fetish-like fascination Boston sportswriters have shown for Stanton over the past year or so, writers who cover the Red Sox constituted about half of the throng of a dozen or so. No real news came out of it, other than for Hill to declare that the dialogue so far between team officials and Stanton's agent have been "positive."
Hill provided no concrete details on the negotiatons, however.
"We're going to do everything in our power to keep him as long as we can," Hill once again stated.
Anthony DeSclafani was named the Arizona Fall League's Pitcher of the Week and will start Saturday's AFL championship game for the Salt River Rafters.
DeSclafani credits an improved curveball with his fall league success. The rookie pitcher for the Marlins led AFL pitchers in innings pitched with 27, ranked second in strikeouts with 24, and went 1-0 with a 2.67 ERA in six starts.
"It's something to change the eye level of hitters," DeSclafani said of his curve. "I think that's going to help me out in the future, and I'm kind of looking forward to taking that into spring training. I think anytime you can throw another pitch for a strike, it's definitely a plus, and it's defnitely another advantage for me pitching. I can definitely tell a difference when there's a hitter up the plate."
DeSclafani appeared in 13 games (including five starts) last season for the Marlins, going 2-2 with a 6.27 ERA.
One free agent the Marlins have eyeballed as a possible fit at second base is Asdrubal Cabrera, who has spent most of his big-league career at shortstop. A two-time All-Star, Cabrera has defensive limitations at short, though, and might benefit from a permanent position switch to the other side of the infield.
Cabrera is a career .268 hitter with some pop.
He isn't the flashiest outfielder in baseball, but Marlins 22-year-old left fielder Christian Yelich now has the hardware to prove he's one of the best defensive players in the game.
Tuesday night Yelich became just the sixth Marlins player ever -- and the franchise's first outfielder -- to win a Gold Glove Award.
Playing in his first full big-league season in spacious Marlins Park, the club's 2010 first round pick paced all National League left fielders with only one error, six assists (one double play) and a .996 fielding percentage.
Up until last season, managers and coaches in each league were tasked with picking the best defensive players at each position (although they couldn't vote for their own players). Now, Gold Glove winners are selected as a collaboration between votes by managers and coaches and sabermetrics.
Even though he's not blessed with the strongest of arms, Yelich had a stellar season covering ground with his glove according to the folks who evaluate players beyond traditional statistics.
According to Bill James' plus/minus leaderboard (which measures the number of plays the player made above or below that of an average fielder), Yelich led all left fielders in baseball with a plus-34 rating. His 13 runs saved, meanwhile, ranked second to Kansas City's Alex Gordon (27) among all left fielders.
Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, also named finalists for Gold Gloves this season, weren't as highly rated when it came to sabermetrics.
Although Hechavarria finished fourth in putouts (200), sixth in fielding percentage (.979) and made dozens of highlight worthy plays this season, he inexplicably ranked last among 67 shortstops in total zone fielding Runs with a minus-10 average.
Stanton, who won the Hank Aaron Award last month for being the best hitter in the National League, ranked sixth in fielding percentage (.982) and finished tied for third with seven outfield assists among right fielders. But there was no way he was going to beat the Braves' Jason Heyward, who is a sabermetrics beast.
Stanton was close, though, finishing second in total zone fielding runs (28) and fourth in defensive runs saved (7) according to Baseball Info Solutions.
Yelich is the youngest Marlins player to win a Gold Glove. Former catcher Charles Johnson was 24 when he was awarded his first of three in 1995.
Johnson and second baseman Luis Castillo each won three Gold Gloves with the Marlins. Pitcher Mark Bueherle (2012), first baseman Derrek Lee (2005) and third baseman Mike Lowell (2005) each won a Gold Glove once with the Marlins.
Okay, maybe not.
As expected, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has been named a finalist for the National League MVP award alongside Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who won the award last year.
Last month, Stanton was selected as the National League's Hank Aaron Award winner, given to the best hitter in each league. His biggest competition for the MVP will be Kershaw, who should win the Cy Young and is considered by many to be the favorite for the MVP.
The MVP winner will be announced Thursday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m.