While the Miami Marlins are aggressively shopping right-hander Rick Nolasco and listening to offers on a few other players, the club still has no plans whatsoever to trade slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton before the July 31 trade deadline, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
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Everyone's favorite MLB owner Jeffrey Loria is "adamant" about building up his club around the premier slugger, and seems to be in a very good position to do so with all the young talent making its way through the farm system. The Marlins' minor-league system is currently rated as one of the best in the game, and the initial success of guys like Jose Fernandez and Marcel Ozuna at the big-league level gives the high rating credence. With big-name prospects like Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick also on the horizon, the Fish could find success sooner rather than later.
Rosenthal posits that Loria's plan is subject to change at any time, however, and speculates that the Fish could look to trade Stanton as early as this offseason. While Yelich and Marisnick are primed to eventually make Miami a better club, they -- along with Ozuna -- could also make Stanton expendable.
Stanton expressed discontent in the immediate aftermath of the Marlin's massive trade with the Blue Jays over the winter, fueling the trade-rumor fire for a while. While Rosenthal hears that Stanton's relationship with the team has improved since then, it is still highly unlikely that he will commit to a long-term pact with the club in the wake of the fire sale, meaning a trade is probably going to happen at some point.
Stanton, 23, is in just his fourth big-league season, so he is under team control for another three years and will not be arbitration eligible for the first time until this fall. One of the game's premier power hitters, Stanton has averaged 31 home runs a year through his first three seasons. He is batting .261/.349/.470 with seven home runs so far this season.
The outfielder missed a little over a month this year with a hamstring strain, but returned to the lineup three weeks and has been his typical, powerful self -- he's bumped his slugging percentage up by nearly 100 points since being activated.