The Marlins and the agent for outfielder Giancarlo Stanton have started discussions on a possibly signing the All-Star slugger to a long-term contract extension.
Marlins president of baseball operations Mike Hill did not say whether the team has made Stanton an offer after being in contact with Stanton's agent, Joel Wolfe, in efforts to get a deal hammered out.
"I've got to believe there is a finality to it, because we're going to move into the 2015 season," Hill said to MLB.com. "These things have their own ebb and flow. There is still, I'd guess you'd say, relevant information to the process still unknown. But we've reached out and let his representative know we're ready to engage."
Hill said that the team has no timeline to get a deal done, but was adamant that they will not negotiate the deal through the media and he wants to keep talks between the Marlins and Stanton's representatives private.
Stanton made $6.5 million in base salary this past season and will likely go to arbitration seeking a pay raise if the team does not sign him to a long-team deal. He will not be a free agent until after the 2016 season.
The 24-year-old Stanton is a finalist for the National League’s Most Valuable Player award after leading the NL with 37 home runs and finishing second with 105 RBI while playing in 145 games. He missed the final two weeks of the season after being hit in the face by a pitch.
"He's the MVP in my eyes,” Hill said. "There are probably some things that will impact our negotiations that still need to be determined. But we reached out and let his representative know we're ready to engage.”
Hill said in September that the team plans to keep Stanton and increase their payroll from $44 million to $60 million for next season.
- Scooby Axson