Would the Marlins consider dealing Stanton?

CHICAGO — If the Marlins fall out of contention at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, would they become sellers?

ESPN’s Buster Olney says the team could be open to dealing everyone on their roster, including Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Johnson and Omar Infante.

Names like Hanley Ramirez, Ricky Nolasco and Gaby Sanchez also could be included.

The Marlins have a standing policy of saying they’d be open to trading anyone. They’ve stated this every year since Jeffrey Loria became the owner in 2002. Their thinking is, you don’t know if another organization would dramatically overpay.

Would the Marlins listen to offers for Stanton, who is 22-years-old and he isn’t eligible for arbitration until after the 2013 season? Yes, they’d listen. But chances are more likely Miami will sign him to a long-term deal by that date than move him.

Stanton is headed towards being the face of the franchise. Don’t expect the slugger to be going anywhere.

Still, Stanton also is the player who would bring in the biggest return in a trade. So at least listening wouldn’t be surprising.

That said, the Marlins are in their new ballpark, and they’re looking to sell tickets for the remainder of this season and for years to follow. Stanton clearly is someone to build around, not move at this point.

More realistic trade pieces could be Anibal Sanchez and Randy Choate. Both are headed for free agency at the end of the season. The club also could turn and move Carlos Lee, who also isn’t expected back in 2013.

One constant in a season where the Marlins have been inconsistent are rumors about the club.

The Marlins felt they were built to win this season. Obviously, they’ve under-performed. But the club has a rotation that has for the most part been steady.

A few days ago, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest talked about the “Cardinals-Rockie Effect.”

Beinfest was referring to the 2011 Cardinals and 2007 Rockies. Both teams were well off the pace entering September, and both reached the World Series.

The second Wild Card also has created more hope.

Clearly, the Marlins have to start making up ground quickly. Foremost, they have to be over .500 as fast as possible. If they are not, look for trade speculation to increase.

Joe Frisaro



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