Inbox: Will Miami ink Stanton to long-term deal?
Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Marlins fans
With the moves the team made this offseason, do you believe Giancarlo Stanton will accept a multiyear contract?
-- Adriano S., Santos, SP, Brazil
Whether to sign Stanton long term or for just 2014 remains one of the biggest stories of Miam's offseason. The club has yet to reach out to Stanton's representatives about a multiyear deal. Perhaps that will happen once the focus turns to signing the arbitration-eligible players. The deadline to exchange salary figures is Jan. 17. The Marlins have a longstanding policy of reaching agreement by that date or having the salary decided at a hearing. I wouldn't rule out a long-term contract being extended, but at this point, it appears the most likely scenario is Stanton will be signed only for 2014.
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Yes, the Marlins have made some nice signings, showing a commitment to building for a better tomorrow. Unless the front office has planned all along to handle all other business first and then present a significant multiyear package, then I don't see a long-term deal being signed in January.
Seeing how the Dodgers have signed Juan Uribe, I heard that the Marlins might be interested in Casey McGehee to play third base.
-- Gary R., Rochester, N.Y.
The Marlins signed McGehee to a one-year deal on Wednesday. McGehee, who last played in the Majors in 2012, is coming off a 2013 season spent in Japan with Rakuten Golden Eagles, for whom he posted some good power numbers.
Juan Pierre was great as a pinch-hitter/pinch-runner coming off the bench, and he provides great leadership, as well as speed that we are lacking. What are the chances of bringing him back as an option off the bench? The only issue I see is that he could probably get a more regular role somewhere else.
-- Zack P., Miami
A fan favorite and a huge part of the 2003 World Series title team, Pierre accepted a bench role in the second half when Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick were promoted. Now a free agent, it doesn't appear the veteran outfielder is part of Miami's plans. When the Marlins traded Justin Ruggiano for Brian Bogusevic, it pretty much eliminated any chance of Pierre returning. Taking it a step further, Bogusevic's arrival also means it is highly unlikely Chris Coghlan will be back.
Bogusevic is a left-handed hitter who plays all three outfield spots. He's also a candidate to pinch-hit. The only way I see Coghlan as an option is if he agrees to a Minor League contract. The same would hold true for Pierre. While Pierre said at the end of last season that he hoped to play in '14, he, too, may be looking at signing a Minor League deal with a big league invite.
The Marlins have a logjam in the outfield with Yelich, Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Marisnick. There are only three spots available. Is it possible that Stanton could eventually switch positions to first base at some point? If he is in fact in the Marlins' long-term plans, a switch to first would allow all four guys to play regularly and may help keep Stanton on the field, health-wise.
-- John Y., Miami
A few years ago, I heard some internal talk about Stanton perhaps projecting at first base. The thought then was that if he kept getting bigger, his body may break down more in the outfield. As of now -- and even in the next year or so -- I see Stanton remaining in right field. It's the position he is most comfortable playing. The signing of Garrett Jones for two years also means Miami isn't looking at Stanton making a switch.
But you raise a good point, because eventually, Yelich, Marisnick and Ozuna may all be ready. Then what? Assuming Stanton is part of the future, maybe Yelich (who played first base in high school) would be a candidate to switch. As of now, the Marlins feel they will have a terrific defensive outfield, with Yelich in left, Ozuna in center and Stanton in right. Marisnick is the best of the group, defensively. It's a matter of him showing enough consistency at the plate.
Have you heard any talk of Sean Rodriquez coming to Marlins?
-- Michael G., Doral, Fla.
Before the Winter Meetings, Rodriguez was a player discussed internally about being a potential option to play third base. The Miami native also is versatile enough to play all over the field, including shortstop. Nothing materialized at the Winter Meetings, and the Rays seem primed to retain Rodriguez for pretty much the same reasons the Marlins would have interest.
If the Marlins are weighing trade options, Rodriguez would make a lot of sense. He is versatile, and he has playoff experience. Barring a deal being made, I wouldn't be surprised if Miami looks to see if Derek Dietrich can handle the hot corner. Donovan Solano and Ed Lucas would be right-handed-hitting options.
More realistic trade options at third base include Will Middlebrooks of the Red Sox and Danny Valencia of the Orioles.