As rumors persist, Beinfest stresses winning now

As rumors persist, Beinfest stresses winning now

As rumors persist, Beinfest stresses winning now
CHICAGO -- With their increased payroll, additions of high-profile players and the opening of a futuristic new stadium, the Marlins have received plenty of attention since the end of last season.

Being under so much focus for such a long period of time makes it a natural that the team now finds itself at the heart of numerous trade rumors.

USA Today on Wednesday reported the Marlins considered trading Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell to the Red Sox for Carl Crawford. A day earlier, it was noted that a number of players also could be dealt by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Even Giancarlo Stanton, virtually untouchable, has been mentioned as a possible trade piece.

Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said on Thursday that rumors come with the territory.

"It's normal this time of year," Beinfest said. "And I think given a club like our club, that had a lot of expectations on it ... and I think we've underperformed, underachieved, and we're in the position that we're in, I think it's normal to hear a lot of things about us.

"Especially how public we were this winter about being all in and really kind of the makeover. I don't think it's abnormal for us to be included in those discussions or trade rumors."

Considering the track records of players on their roster, the Marlins are stunned to be 44-48 after losing, 4-2, to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday. They dropped two of three in the series, and now head to Pittsburgh for a three-game set that starts on Friday.

"Come here and lose two out of three is disappointing," Beinfest said. "It's not something we needed to do."

Each loss certainly makes it tougher for the front office to justify keeping the roster intact. Already, there is speculation that Anibal Sanchez, a free agent after the season, could be moved by July 31.

The Ramirez and Bell report already is out there, and perhaps Omar Infante could be a trade chip. Without being specific on players or possible trades, Beinfest noted the team needs to start winning games.

"In terms of decision making, I don't know how that's going to go," Beinfest said. "I really don't. We need to win games here to make sure we're on the periphery of even thinking about getting into things."

Miami made a move on July 4, acquiring Carlos Lee from the Astros for Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen. Lee was brought in to boost the offense. But with Stanton recovering from right knee surgery, the Marlins continue to struggle scoring runs. They were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Thursday after going 0-for-8 in those situations on Wednesday.

"It's been very frustrating, disappointing," Beinfest said. "These guys are trying, working hard. We're just not winning enough games. I think with the talent we have here, we should win more games than we have, and it hasn't happened.

"We've said it publicly before, we're in a tough spot. You believe in your talent and hope we get hot. I think that's where we are right now. But every day that goes by, it gets tougher and tougher to do that."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.