By John Shea @real_johnshea on August 9, 2014
The Miami Marlins are on the verge of "achieving" yet another massive organizational blunder. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Marlins intend to re-sign slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term extension this offseason. On the surface, re-upping Stanton for the foreseeable future appears like a no-brainer, but the instability of the Marlins as an organization make long-term guarantees detrimental to potential future success.
The objective in retaining Stanton is to theoretically build around him in attempt to construct a World Series-caliber team. That's not exactly the Marlins' motive for dishing out a well-deserved extension to one of the best power hitters in the game, though. Miami ranks 27th in home attendance this season, averaging less than 22,000 fans per game. Stanton is a big reason for ticket sales, but fans want a winner. Take the Miami Heat, for example.
The Marlins lack the structure necessary to consistently put forth a high-quality on the field product. Re-signing Stanton would merely perpetuate the status of a defunct organization, given the return the club could net for a player of his caliber. The Marlins haven't had a winning season since 2009, despite frivolous spending prior to the 2012 campaign, which saw the fish win just 69 games. Retaining Stanton won't change Miami's losing trend.
Stanton's trade value is currently at its peak. The 24-year-old slugger is under club control through the 2016 season, which would give a trade suitor a minimum of two years to negotiate a long-term deal, and potentially buy out his remaining two seasons of arbitration. Stanton owns a whopping .939 OPS this season. He leads the NL in home runs (28), RBI (77) and walks (68), yet the Marlins are three games below the .500 mark.
According to Baseball Prospectus, the Marlins boast the 19th "best" farm system in the big leagues, a reality of which is detrimental to the franchise's future, given their inability to sustain long-term spending. Trading Stanton would enable the Marlins to acquire at least three, if not more, highly touted prospects who flaunt serious major-league potential. At the moment, Miami doesn't have much to look forward to in the minor league ranks.
The Marlins aren't typically in the business of handing down gigantic contracts to type-A players, excluding the anomaly otherwise known as 2012. While the club's brain trust might be optimistic, given the hopeful return of staff ace Jose Fernandez in 2015, the Marlins don't have enough perennial talent to consistently contend in the ultra-competitive NL East even with Stanton in uniform. Trading Stanton this offseason is the right move.
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