Beinfest addresses Stanton, contracts before Meetings

Beinfest addresses Stanton, contracts before Meetings

Beinfest addresses Stanton, contracts before Meetings
MIAMI -- Throughout the league, trade talk is picking up as the Winter Meetings approach. But a name you can cross off the list of "likely to be moved" is Giancarlo Stanton, who remains a building block in Miami.

"Our plans ... in '13 are [for him] to be our right fielder and hit in the middle of our lineup," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said on Thursday afternoon.

Beinfest didn't get into the rumors and rumblings, but that doesn't mean something is or isn't brewing behind the scenes. The Marlins operate close to the vest, and they rarely acknowledge rumors.

At the Winter Meetings next week in Nashville, Tenn., there will be plenty of speculation about many high-profile players. Chances are, Stanton's name will again be brought up.

But Miami has no intention of trading the 23-year-old, who is one season away from being arbitration-eligible. Stanton won't have the necessary service time to become a free agent until after the 2016 season, so there is no urgency to consider moving one of the most promising power hitters in the game.

Stanton was outspoken after the Marlins dealt Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Blue Jays for seven players on Nov. 19. Manager Mike Redmond recently reached out, trying to put him at ease.

"This was an emotional time and all those things," Beinfest said. "I am kind of taking everything with a grain of salt a little bit. I can't speak for Giancarlo's feelings, because those are his feelings. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time for things to settle down and to see clear, etc. That's what we're going through right now."

The Marlins haven't given up hope of approaching Stanton at some point about a long-term contract, but that isn't a serious scenario before the start of Spring Training.

In 2012, Miami made three major free-agent signings, luring in Heath Bell, Reyes and Buehrle for a combined $191 million. All three signed multiyear deals. All three are gone after just one season.

In terms of signing players long-term in the future, the Marlins will continue to work on a case-to-case basis.

"Some long-term commitments work out better than others," Beinfest said. "We had a unique situation here [last year] where we went all in, and things did not go well. We decided to move on. That doesn't mean that we're totally out on long-term deals.

"We've done them over the years. Again, some are good and some are bad, and you hope that they all work out. I don't think we have a firm policy. We take them as they come. We're open to it. It's not, 'We're going to shy away from multiyear contracts.'"

As part of the trade with Toronto, Miami acquired shortstop Yunel Escobar. Escobar is signed for $5 million, and he has club options at $5 million per year through 2015. Beinfest said that the team has talked with Escobar about playing third base, and the veteran is agreeable to making the switch.

There also is the chance that Escobar will be dealt before ever playing an inning for the Marlins. If something makes sense, he can be a trade chip.

First base is a position the Marlins feel they've already locked down with Logan Morrison, who is recovering from surgery on his right knee. The procedure, performed by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo., was the second on the same knee in less than a year.

Since the season ended, the knee has been checked by Steadman and Dr. Lee Kaplan, Miami's club physician.

"[Morrison's] on schedule," Beinfest said. "He's been doing his work. He's gone to Dr. Steadman for checkups. He's come to Miami to see Dr. Kaplan for checkups. He hasn't gotten any red flags from our medical staff. LoMo is working through his rehab, and he should be ready to go when we get to Jupiter, [Fla.]."

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.