If Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton truly wants to play on a contender, he’ll have to accept a trade to another team. Because if the reigning National League MVP decides to come back to the Marlins, the team will just deal away everyone else.
The Marlins reportedly told the 28-year-old outfielder that if he didn’t waive his no-trade clause and accept a trade to another club, they would still reduce payroll by selling off other talented players, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Spencer points out this wasn’t presented to Stanton as an ultimatum, but the intent is clear. If we have to keep paying your high salary, expect to be surrounded by a terrible supporting cast. Stanton will make $25 million in 2018, and that’s conveniently close to the amount the Marlins are reportedly looking to shed before next season.
The optimist might look at this and say, “at least the Marlins are being honest with Stanton.” By telling him they plan to tear things down, they are giving him the opportunity to leave and play on a contender.
The Marlins, however, probably don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt at this point. The team’s new ownership group — led by Derek Jeter — hasn’t exactly made a good first impression … or second or third impression … on anyone. Jeter’s group has fired franchise legends, parted ways with beloved broadcasters and not so quietly declared they are going to strip the team’s payroll yet again.
Given all that, the club’s message to Stanton reads more like a ploy of desperation and disrespect. They are telling Stanton that he better accept a deal or else, even if it’s to a place he doesn’t want to play. It’s an intimidation tactic, and no way to treat the franchise’s best player over the past eight seasons.
It’s also a slap in the face to the fans. Even if Stanton wanted to stay in Miami and make things work, the team isn’t going to support him. The team has no ambitions to contend even with the NL MVP. They would rather waste another year of Stanton’s prime.
Jeter’s group was supposed to represent a new era in Miami. Instead, it’s tough not to look at these tactics and immediately be reminded of Jeffrey Loria.
Stanton already put up with that for eight years. We can’t imagine he’ll want to do it all over again.
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