Changes are coming to the Miami Marlins. The biggest question facing Derek Jeter involves what to do with Giancarlo Stanton.
The Miami Marlins finished their 2017 campaign with a 77-85 record, finishing second in the division. Nevertheless, they ended up a whopping twenty games behind the first-place Washington Nationals. This, coupled with a change in ownership from the greatly disliked Jeffery Loria, has the capability to upend the Marlins.
Derek Jeter, the current CEO and part owner, plans to rework the Marlins to branch away from Loria’s ideas. That may commence with trading All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has been the face of the Miami Marlins since 2011. He has been the team’s lone superstar since the tragic passing of Jose Fernandez last September. Trading a player of Stanton’s caliber seems absurd to many, but looking at the fine details of the situations sheds light on the fact that Stanton will most likely be taking his talents out of South Beach.
Stanton is coming off an career year, hitting a league-high 59 home runs and winning the Hank Aaron award. If the front office feels the need to trade him, now would be the time to pull the trigger, as his value is near its highest point.
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The one major issue facing the executives is Stanton’s contract. It has been speculated that the Marlins wish to cut their payroll by nearly $50 million heading into next year. The perfect candidate to remove in order to reach that goal is Stanton, who signed a 13-year, $325 million contract in 2014, and is going to make $25 million next season. Not many teams are able to take on such a burden without exceeding the luxury tax, preventing certain destinations from materializing into real possibilities.
Another problem facing the Marlins is the return they can get for Stanton. Teams may not be willing to send over a plethora of top prospects and budding young stars to acquire the outfielder’s talents.
Many teams vying for contention this season have depleted farm systems based on trades made before the All-Star Break, further limiting the options of which the Marlins take to reduce their salary. Stanton, who openly voiced his opinion on wanting to go to a contender on either coast, has a no-trade clause. He can enact it’s powers to prevent a trade to a non-contender.
At this point, it may be wise for Miami to keep their award-winning slugger. At just 27 years old, he is in the prime of his career and is locked under contract for another 10 years. Miami has a solid foundation already, consisting of Stanton, Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. Keeping this core together, while bolstering the rotation and bullpen, may be the key to success for Miami. Getting rid of Stanton, however, would mark a new era for the Miami Marlins.