Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have avoided arbitration with outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and relievers Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn. Stanton, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, has agreed to a one-year deal worth $6.5 million. The slugger, one of baseball’s premier power hitters, portends to become very wealthy in the coming years if he can stay healthy. He is eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.
Following his first season as the team’s closer, Cishek and the Marlins agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.8 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Dunn, also a newbie to the process, will take home $1.4 million on a one-year deal.
With an additional $11.7 million on the books, the Marlins now have about $32 million committed to nine players. The rest of their roster will be comprised of players not yet eligible for arbitration and players signed to minor league and non-guaranteed deals. Based on their current trajectory, they will very likely open up 2014 with a payroll lower than last year’s $50.5 million.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.