Are the Marlins looking to trade Giancarlo Stanton soon or simply gauging interest in a possible deal down the road?
According to a report Tuesday morning by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, Stanton cleared revocable waivers this week allowing the Marlins to trade him by August 31 when postseason rosters must be set.
But others including SiriusXM’s Craig Mish stated that Stanton was not placed on waivers and the Marlins had no plans to do so.
Regardless, virtually every player in the majors is placed on revocable waivers in August following the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline in the event the team wants to trade them. Most of the time, they are not traded.
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For perspective, Bryce Harper is one of several players that have reportedly been put on revocable waivers. And the World Series-contending Nationals have zero inclination to trade him.
Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill said in July the team wasn’t looking to trade any core players such as Stanton, J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Justin Bour and Dan Straily before the end of the season.
However, the Marlins are still operating in the red financially and expected to lose $60 million this season according to sources. The Marlins have $95 million set aside for only eight players next season.
The payroll at the start of the season was $115 million - the highest in team history.
Stanton also has a full no-trade clause in his contract and would have to approve any such deals.
Stanton, who has hit a major-league leading 43 home runs as of Monday night when he broke the franchise’s single-season record, has 10 years and $295 million left on the contract he signed with the Marlins in 2014.
His salary will rise from $14.5 million this season to $25 million next year and $26 million each year in 2019 and 2020. He can opt out of the contract in 2020.
According to the Yahoo report, at least four teams have inquired about a potential Stanton trade despite his substantial contract.
The Marlins’ ownership situation is also pending resolution and that could factor in to their holding off on any major trades until after the season.
Major League Baseball is expected to review the Marlins’ pending sale to the group led by New York businessman Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter at this week’s Owners Meetings in Chicago. The sale could then be voted on in September and completed by early October.
After this, the Marlins may choose to trade Stanton, if they haven’t already, or any other core players.
Entering Tuesday’s game, Stanton is on pace to hit 60 home runs this season a feat accomplished eight times by only five players in major-league history – Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
Stanton has also homered in five consecutive games – also a franchise record. The MLB record is eight in a row shared by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (1993).
ONE UP, ONE DOWN
The Marlins regained a vital piece of their bullpen Tuesday and lost another.
As expected, the Marlins reactivated Kyle Barraclough from the 10-day disabled list, but placed rookie left-hander Jarlin Garcia on there with a left biceps strain. The move was retroactive to Saturday.
Barraclough had not pitched since July 24 after suffering right shoulder impingement. Barraclough, who is 4-1 with a 3.30 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 31 walks in 46 1/3 innings, is likely to resume his late-inning role after being eased back to action and could eventually become the team’s closer.
Garcia has appeared in 51 games (39 1/3 innings) compiling a 3.43 ERA with 29 strikeouts and nine walks. Garcia has pitched in high-leverage innings and more in a season than he has in his young career.
Garcia’s injury leaves the Marlins without a lefty in the bullpen.
"This being my first full year as a reliever, I just think all the wear and tear has tired me out," Garcia said. "They decided to give me some rest so I can come back 100 percent."
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the Marlins anticipate Garcia will be able to return relatively soon after a 10-day period.
"With what was going on with him we figured we need to be cautious rather than try to push him back out there," Mattingly said. "It just seemed like the right time with two off days coming."
Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Ureña (10-5, 3.76) vs. San Francisco Giants RHP Matt Cain (3-9, 5.22), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.