PORT ST. LUCIE -- The Marlins renewed the contracts of seven players Saturday, firming up everyone on their 40-man roster including All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who will make $537,000 ($47,000 over the league minimum) this season.
But this will be the last time Stanton comes so cheap.
Stanton is eligible for salary arbitration after this season and, assuming he puts up his usual numbers at the plate, he’ll start costing the Marlins plenty — that is, assuming they don’t trade him.
Miguel Cabrera, for example, made $7.4 million his first year of arbitration, after which the Marlins promptly dealt him to the Tigers in their now infamous trade with Detroit.
Cabrera already had proved to be a better pure hitter than Stanton, but with not quite as much pop.
Looking ahead, the Marlins don’t have any significant salary commitments on the books for 2014, so whatever Stanton ends up making shouldn’t break the bank.
Former Marlins catcher John Buck, who will face his former team for the first time Sunday in Jupiter, has heard all about the squabbling between his old bosses and old teammates this week. But he said Saturday he’s staying out of it.
Shipped off to the Toronto Blue Jays as part of the 12-player trade the Marlins made in November, the 32-year-old catcher is now a happy member of the Mets. And although he still loves South Florida, he doesn’t miss his old job or the drama with his old team.
“Everything we’re dealing with, every conversation, it’s nice to be here where it’s just baseball and not having to deal with that,” Buck said, referring to how former teammates Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes reiterated this week that the Marlins front office lied to them about long-term commitments.
Buck said he’s looking forward to facing the Marlins this season, especially the three trips to South Florida when he’ll be able to sleep in his own bed and see his wife and sons. Buck still owns a home in Plantation and is deciding whether or not to move his family back to Utah once his sons finish school.
• Pitching in an intrasquad game on a backfield in Jupiter, projected Opening Day starter Ricky Nolasco gave up two hits and two runs over three innings with six strikeouts Saturday. He threw 42 pitches and hit one batter.
• Sunday: New York Mets RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.10 ERA) at Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-7, 4.43 with Marlins), 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.
• Monday: Off