As part of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria's charm offensive (light on charm, heavy on offense) he is -- in addition to penning mendacious open letters -- addressing the media for first time since he spoke with CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman during the November owners' meetings.
"We are hoping that that moment will come but Giancarlo needs to play this year. He is here for certainly the foreseeable future and we will cross that bridge at the appropriate moment. ...
He will be here this year and I'm hopeful he will come here the next year. ... I would love to see him be the centerpiece of this ball club. He'd the young giant in the ball club but you can't make promises in this game because strange things happen all the time. ...
I dont think this is the year to go to Giancarlo with an offer. We have to let him play it out, let him feel more comfortable."
Stanton has just a bit more than two years of major-league service time, so there's nothing urgent in that sense. Still, you'll notice a lot of hedging, qualifiers and Loria-speak in the above excerpt. Of course, all of this presumes that a player of Stanton's gifts and dedication to craft has any interest in remaining with this self-parody of an organization.
In a related matter, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel notes that Loria left open the possibility of altering the team's longstanding policy of not offering no-trade clauses. Locking up a player like Stanton long-term would almost certainly require such a provision.
Unless, like, say, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, he's content to take Loria at his sterling, unimpeachable word.
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