The Marlins have taken the first steps in keeping Giancarlo Stanton in a Miami uniform for years to come by engaging in preliminary talks with the slugger over a long-term contract.
“I will say that we’ve reached out to his representative and that negotiations are ongoing,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.
The Marlins have made it clear they would like to sign Stanton to a long-term deal. The National League’s home run leader last season remains under team control for two more seasons, after which he becomes eligible for free agency.
But the Marlins are hoping to keep him around even longer — much longer — if possible.
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Hill said in a radio interview last week that the Marlins would prefer to strike a deal with Stanton before the winter meetings in early December. But Hill also said on Wednesday that no deadlines have been established in getting a deal done.
One way or the other, Hill re-confirmed that Stanton will be a Marlin next season whether or not he agrees to an extension. Stanton is expected to command a 2015 salary of about $13 million through the arbitration process.
“We haven’t given him a timeline, and I don’t want to speculate that we would allow it to go on indefinitely,” Hill said. “But at some point, he either is going to be signed to a multi-year, or he will be signed to a one-year. We haven’t gotten to that yet. There is no deadline in place as far as the timing of things.”
Hill would not say whether an actual contract offer covering both years and amount of money has been given to Stanton at his point.
“Our negotiations, we want to keep them private,” Hill said. “We don’t want to negotiate through the media.”