Marlins GM: Giancarlo Stanton is 'not available'

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Stanton is one of the most desirable players in the MLB, but the Marlins have been steadfast on keeping him.

Miami Marlins general manager Dan Jennings says he will not trade outfielder Giancarlo Stanton this offseason, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN. Jennings says the team is building around Stanton.

Stanton has been one of the most desirable trade assets in the MLB the past two years. Just 23 years old, he has already hit 117 major league home runs in his first four big league seasons. He has also posted a .354 career OBP. Stanton has proven himself to be one of the best sluggers in the MLB, and he still has a ton of room left to grow.

Were the Marlins to trade him, they would certainly bring in a large haul of top prospects. The team has shown a penchant for trading its star players for prospects when those players begin to get expensive. Stanton is due to hit arbitration for the first time this offseason and could see a record deal for a first time arbitration case. Unless an extension is worked out, he will be even more expensive the next two years.

However, a player of Stanton's caliber is rare. The Marlins wanting to keep him long-term is certainly a reasonable desire and signing him to a long-term deal early could allow the two sides to come to a team-friendly contract. The Marlins have shown a willingness to spend in the past, signing Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell to big contracts prior to 2012. However, not one of those players is still a Marlin as owner Jeffrey Loria can be very fickle about his team.

While Jennings' claims should be taken with a grain of salt as he may just be posturing in the offseason, the Marlins do have enough space on their payroll to keep Stanton. Outside of their spending spree for 2012, they have hovered between $50-60 million typically, but have just $7.2 million in payroll obligations for 2014 and no players signed beyond that.

The Marlins have said in the past that they are not interested in trading Stanton, but teams continue to pry into his availability with the Philadelphia Phillies being the most persistent pursuer.

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