Entering his fifth season in the Major Leagues, Giancarlo Stanton has yet to experience a season in which the Miami Marlins have finished with a winning record. In fact, he’s yet to see the team finish a season at .500. Losing can understandably become tiring and it sounds as though the team’s star offensive talent is getting sick of it, as he told reporters upon arriving at Spring Training this week (per an Associated Press story passed along via ESPN):
I’m not a loser. That’s not what I’m accustomed to. That’s not what I like to do. So this obviously hasn’t been ideal so far and I don’t want a career like that. We’ve got to push it forward and start turning it around.
Since the start of the 2010 season, the Miami Marlins have combined for a 283-365 record (a .436 winning percentage). The team’s overall record has dropped in each of the past four seasons. They’ve finished dead last in the NL East in each of the past three seasons and their 62-100 record in 2013 was the 2nd worst finish in all of baseball. It’s not hard to see where Stanton’s frustrations are stemming from – before we even consider the organization’s financial practices when it comes to building it’s roster, which are also starting to wear on Stanton.
I don’t want to come in and always feel like everyone needs name tags, you know?
While the Marlins still aren’t projected to factor into the NL East race, the team did take some positive steps over the course of the offseason. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones both join the Marlins lineup, likely offering some additional power production and potentially some protection in the lineup for Stanton. The team also brought in a host of veteran role players (Rafael Furcal, Ty Wigginton, and others) to help augment a roster that looks to feature a number of younger players whom the organization is hoping will continue their development – namely Adeiny Hechavarria and Christian Yelich, along with Jake Marisnick when he joins the team’s MLB roster.
One of the bigger questions remains how their pitching staff will perform. Jose Fernandez has already stepped into the team’s ace role, but his best support is still a year away from reaching the Major Leagues as left-handers Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino both project to begin the 2014 season at Double-A. Miami will need improved seasons from Jacob Turner and Henderson Alvarez if they hope to finish close to .500 on the coming season.
Stanton’s future has long been a popular discussion topic. Given the Marlins’ history, there are few who expect that the team will end up signing the 24 year old to a long term extension before he reaches the free agent market following the 2016 season. Stanton faced arbitration for the first time this offseason before agreeing with the team on a one year, $6.5 Million deal. His salary will continue to climb, leading most to suggest that a trade is all but inevitable sometime over the next three seasons.