Stanton is due to be a free agent following the 2016 season and widely expected to pursue arbitration for a pay raise if he can't land a new long-term deal. Marlins president Michael Hill said Tuesday that the team was having "ongoing" talks with Stanton, and that opposing teams had stopped inquiring about potential trades. Hill said the Marlins plan to up their payroll from $44 million to $60 million, and back in September, it was reported they plan to offer the 25-year-old slugger the biggest contract in team history.
Ten years, $300 million, however, would be the biggest contract in professional sports history. The Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera signed a 10-year, $292 million deal in March to exceed Alex Rodriguez's $275 million deal with the New York Yankees.
According to Rosenthal's sources, Stanton's representatives have also discussed shorter contracts with the Marlins, and that there continues to be dialogue between the two sides is an indication of progress. Stanton's agent, Joel Wolfe, denied comment, while the Marlins have only said talks are ongoing.
"We're having continual dialogue," Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said. "I wouldn't say we're close to anything."
The Marlins went 77-85 last season, finishing fourth in the NL East and with their best year since 2010. Stanton's season ended prematurely when he was struck in the face by a pitch on Sept. 11 vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. He suffered facial fractures, dental damage and a facial laceration, but still led the National League with 10 home runs and a .555 slugging percentage with his numbers through 145 games.
- Mike Fiammetta