Marlins continue talks on potential Stanton deal

Giants, Red Sox, Cardinals and Phillies in mix for slugger

Marlins continue talks on potential Stanton deal

ORLANDO -- The Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes are about to heat up.

With the General Managers Meetings starting today in Orlando, the Marlins are prepared to measure interest in their four-time All-Star right fielder. According to multiple sources, the Giants continue to be in discussions with Miami, as are the Red Sox, Cardinals and Phillies.

Hot Stove Tracker

San Francisco, which is in need a power bat, has had several conversations with Miami leading into the GM Meetings, gauging the level of prospects that it would take to complete a deal.

It's no secret the Marlins' biggest need is starting pitching, but for Stanton, the club is seeking the best overall package, even if it includes position players.

According to the Miami Herald, talks between the Marlins and Boston "may be heating up."

How quickly a trade could materialize for Stanton is anyone's guess. The 28-year-old, who led the Majors in home runs (59) and RBIs (132), has a full no-trade clause, so he has a direct say in where he'd like play.

Of the four teams that have been revealed so far, the Cardinals and Red Sox have shown in the past a willingness to strike early, getting a jump on the market. These are two clubs that may want to accelerate the process between the GM Meetings and December's Winter Meetings.

Under new ownership, the Marlins are looking to trim payroll, while reshaping their roster, which is why Stanton is available after having an MVP-worthy season.

NL Outstanding Player: Stanton

The organization is at a crossroads because it has core position players like Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon and J.T. Realmuto, but they are thin on pitching, as well as overall organizational depth.

The Marlins are ready to build, but they don't appear to want to go into a complete rebuild. So, they could move at least some, but not all, of their core.

For now, sources say Miami has not had substantive talks with clubs about Ozuna and Yelich. The feeling is, if Stanton is moved, the Marlins could retain Ozuna and Yelich.

Stanton's salary is rising to $25 million next year, and $295 million remains on the 13-year contract he signed in November 2014. He can opt out after 2020.

On a conference call last week, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill declined to go into specifics about Stanton, or the possibility of trading any of their core players.

Hill did confirm he has spoken recently with Stanton, but did not elaborate on details.

"I would say the content of our conversation will stay private," Hill said. "We're not going to put that out for public consumption. But I did have the opportunity to speak to him, yes."

The GM Meetings should provide some answers about Miami's direction, because teams will be exchanging ideas.

"Once you get with your peers, that really kicks off everything," Hill said. "The [ownership] transition happened as the season ended, so there was a lot of administrative work that we had to take care of. That's really what's dominated my time since the end of the season."

In the upcoming days, Stanton's market is expected to expand. The Dodgers and Yankees are teams that could check in on what it would take to acquire MLB's home run champ.

Stanton is from Sherman Oaks, Calif., and he grew up attending Dodgers games. The belief is he would prefer to play on the West Coast, but the slugger has not publicly made any statements as to where he'd like to play. The Yankees have the financial resources to take on Stanton's contract, and perhaps the idea of having Stanton and Aaron Judge in the same lineup would appeal to them.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.