Marlins want to extend Giancarlo Stanton, but aren’t optimistic

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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that the Marlins plan to offer a contract extension to outfielder Giancarlo Stanton during the winter, but they aren’t optimistic about their chances. The Marlins tried to get the extension talks rolling last winter, but Stanton wanted to play out the 2014 season before making it a topic of discussion. According to Heyman, Stanton is happier with the Marlins now than when he criticized the club after they traded away Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, among others.

Stanton, 24, is earning $6.5 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration two more times before becoming eligible for free agency, sans an extension, in 2017. If the Marlins aren’t able to come to an agreement with their slugger, they’ll have no other choice but to shop him to what will certainly be a horde of interested teams.

Stanton has had an MVP-caliber season, leading the league with 27 home runs and 76 RBI while slashing .289/.389/.546 and stealing 10 bases.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.