1/23/2014 7:28 P.M. ET
Marlins express desire to lock up Stanton long-term
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- For now, the Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton are pleased with the one-year, $6.5 million deal that was reached late last week, but the club clearly would like to retain its power-hitting right fielder for years to come.
On Thursday afternoon, general manager Dan Jennings told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that the team is interested in signing Stanton to an extension, stating a desire to get a deal done "the sooner the better."
At this point, however, the two sides have not had any additional conversations since coming to terms on the one-year deal for 2014.
"We are not in ongoing negotiations," Jennings told MLB.com on Thursday night.
There isn't an urgency to sign Stanton, as he is in his first year of arbitration-eligibility and won't qualify for free agency until after the 2016 season, so there is time to hammer out an agreement.
Still, for a deal to occur, mutual interest is required. An encouraging sign is that the two sides showed they can work together, having come to terms on the contract for 2014 on Jan. 17 and avoiding an arbitration hearing.
After the deal was done, Stanton's agent, Joel Wolfe of the Wasserman Media Group, told MLB.com that the two sides agreed to focus primarily on a one-year contract.
"From the outset, I think it was in everyone's interest to try [to] reach a fair and amicable settlement on a one-year contract," Wolfe said. "We accomplished that. Now Giancarlo can focus exclusively on getting ready for the season. He is pleased with the result and [is] looking forward to Spring Training."
Wolfe had no further comment on Thursday.
Clearly, the Marlins are showing how much they want to build around Stanton, one of the premier young sluggers in the game, and during the negotiations for 2014, they communicated to Stanton and Wolfe that they are open to working out a long-term agreement.
"We expressed our desire to them that we would like to get him locked up," Jennings said, though neither terms nor financial figures were exchanged.
"We both felt like we should focus on a one-year deal," Jennings said.
Though the Marlins may approach Stanton's camp again when they feel the timing is right, they feel it was important to have smooth negotiations regarding his 2014 contract, and the fact that they avoided an arbitration hearing is viewed as a positive.
"We feel like it was very important," Jennings said. "We wanted the best deal for the player and the organization. We were able to do that without going into the room."
Stanton and All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, are two of Miami's building blocks, and the club is exploring how to keep them together for the foreseeable future.
There is always the chance Stanton will want to play out his tenure in Miami and test the free-agent market when he is eligible, but the Marlins feel they have an improved roster to help support Stanton, who belted 24 homers and drove in 62 runs last season. Free agents Jarrod Saltalamacchia (catcher), Garrett Jones (first base), Rafael Furcal (second base) and Casey McGehee (third base) have added depth to the lineup.
"We like the mix, and we like the people," Jennings said. "If you bring in the right people, good things can happen."