Miami Marlins | First Full-Squad workout

Stanton skirts new-contract talk, Reyes ‘feels sorry’ for Marlins fans

 

Giancarlo Stanton has turned the page after the offseason deals, but Jose Reyes, in Dunedin, sure hasn’t, saying he felt sorry for Marlins fans.

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

Giancarlo Stanton didn’t pop off on the Marlins on Friday. But Jose Reyes sure did.

Stanton, who said he was unhappy right after the Marlins traded Reyes and four others to Toronto in November, said it was time to “turn the page” and there was “not going to be any pouting” from him.

“I got what little words were out there to let it be known, and that was that,” said Stanton, who spoke about his feelings for the first time this spring.

Stanton tweeted he was “[ticked] off!!!” after the trade.

But Reyes was less guarded with his choice of words when he spoke to reporters in Dunedin on his first day of spring training with the Blue Jays.

Reyes said he was shocked by the trade because Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria encouraged him to buy a new home in Miami only days before being traded to Toronto.

“I was shocked, because Jeffrey Loria, he always told me he’s never going to trade me,” Reyes said. “He always called my agent and said, ‘Tell Jose to get a good place here to live,’ and stuff like that.”

Reyes said he had dinner with Loria only a few days before the trade and, even then, “he was talking still about, ‘get a nice house in Miami.’ ”

“That was kind of crazy,” Reyes, 29, said. “I mean, how can you want me to spend some money in Miami, when I have my house in New York, and you’re going to trade me in two days?”

Reyes, who signed a six-year contract with the Marlins in December 2011 and was traded 11 months later, didn’t sound like someone who would recommend the Marlins to other players. Asked what advice he would give to free agents considering the Marlins in the future, Reyes replied: “I don’t need to say anything. They see what happened. I signed there for like six years. I played there one year. So I don’t have to say anything.”

Reyes also said he felt sorry for Stanton and Marlins fans.

“… I feel sorry for the fan base there in Miami because they had a great fan base there,” he said. “To let them down like that, I mean, that’s going to be tough for them.”

Stanton was careful with his words when he spoke to reporters about his feelings on Friday for the first time. In addition to his now famous tweet, he also gave an interview to MLB.com’s Peter Gammons in November in which he further expressed his displeasure with the Marlins’ offseason moves.

The reaction has led to speculation that he’ll reject any long-term contract deals if the Marlins ever offer him one and the team will be forced to trade him. He is not eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season.

But Stanton skirted the topic when asked about it Friday.

“I haven’t been offered one, so that decision isn’t ready yet,” Stanton said.

Asked if he could see any way for his time with the Marlins to end well, Stanton replied, “There’s always ways to look past things. It’s not like you [have a] falling out once and there’s never anything to come from it. It can be rebuilt. There’s time.”

Stanton said there’s also no reason for anyone to feel sorry for him, Reyes included.

“What is there to feel sorry for me about?” Stanton said.

“I’m in the big leagues. I play a game for a living.”

• Because of lingering health concerns about Logan Morrison, the Marlins on Friday signed veteran first baseman Casey Kotchman to a minor-league contract and gave him an invitation to spring training.

“I don’t know if you want to call it insurance but, yeah, we have some concern that Lomo’s not going to be ready,” said Larry Beinfest, Marlins president of baseball operations.

The well-traveled Kotchman is a veteran of nine major-league seasons with six different teams. He is a career .262 hitter with 71 homers. With Cleveland last season, Kotchman hit .229 with 12 home runs in 500 plate appearances.

Morrison is scheduled to have his surgically repaired right knee examined in Colorado on Tuesday. If the knee checks out, Morrison could be cleared to begin jogging. It’s uncertain whether he’ll be ready to play by Opening Day.

• Left-hander Grant Dayton was assigned to rehab after undergoing an arthroscopic cleanup on his elbow. With the signing of Kotchman, the spring roster remained at 73 players.

• Despite rainy conditions, the Marlins on Friday held their first full-squad workout. New manager Mike Redmond addressed the club, drawing on his personal experience as a player with the Marlins to illustrate how spring training was an opportunity for all of them to make the team.

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