The Marlins’ higher-ups have stated over and over again that they have no intention of trading young slugger Giancarlo Stanton. But they’ve been taking phone calls on the matter and will continue to do so.
Assistant general manager Dan Jennings told Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM on Sunday morning that the Marlins “will listen to all offers” on Stanton but that a deal is highly unlikely to take place this winter. Which basically means that the Fish would have to be blown away by an offer to consider it.
The Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles and Cubs were all known to have interest at one point.
Stanton batted .290/.361/.608 with 37 home runs and 86 RBI in 123 games this past season for the Fish. The 23-year-old right fielder isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2014 and is under club control through 2016.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.
I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.
Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.
Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?