I wasn’t expecting any assurances. I didn’t think President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest would guarantee that Giancarlo Stanton would be a life-long Marlin. At a minimum, I was banking on the “some players are less likely to be traded than others” bit, but Beinfest didn’t even offer that.
This fan base took yet another knee to the gut Monday when it learned Commissioner Bud Selig approved the trade that is sending Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Blue Jays. Some out there believe this move means it’s only a matter of time before Giancarlo Stanton is hitting mammoth homers for someone else.
Call it blind optimism, but I still thing Stanton’s next several seasons will be as a Marlin. Sunday, he made strong statements to Peter Gammons of MLB.com about his disappointment with the trade and the club’s direction. President David Samson last week and Beinfest on Monday said Stanton had not been contacted. Not sure why the Marlins don’t feel it’s a priority to allay the concerns of their franchise player.
“I know this is an emotional time,” Beinfest said. “I know he had relationships with these guys. I don’t know that I have an appreciation for it. These guys live together, dress together, play together under the spotlight every night and they build a different kind of bond. I’m sure it’s been tough for him. Our feeling was to maybe let the dust settle a little bit, maybe let some of the emotion go away and we can get to Giancarlo and talk about getting to spring training with some of his new teammates. I hear it. I hear the frustration. It’s not unexpected.”
I asked Beinfest what he’d say to fans who are convinced Stanton will be traded at some point.
His answer: “I think we can only speak to our actions now. I understand the pause that our fans have with the instability in our roster and instability in our manager and general instability in a time that we were hoping to be very stable in the new building and winning a lot of games and having a lot of fun here at Marlins Park. It did a 180 on us and it’s just not a lot of fun.
“I’m not real big asking for patience. This is the major leagues and this is a major league ballpark and people expect major league entertainment for their dollars. I’m not going to say, ‘Hey, be patient with us and let’s wait for this guy and this guy to be ready.’ Our expectation is we’re going to provide major league entertainment right off the bat. Hopefully we’ll win a bunch of games. Hopefully our young players will grow up quickly into the types of players we’re hoping they will be. I’d love to be able to say the catch things, hang in there with us. I’m not sure we’re there right now. I understand the emotion here. I understand the things that have been percolating over the last week. Now we just need to go out and demonstrate what we’re about.
“I’ve been here a long time. I’ve had ample opportunity to put together good ball clubs. Some have been very good. Some have been very bad. I’m on a two-year streak [finishing in last place], so it’s time we start to get things better and that’s what this is all about. Hopefully it will happen. We ask that the people support us and come to love their new players and hope we bring winning baseball back here to Miami.”
No specific mention of Stanton. Honestly, the Marlins could sign Stanton to a 10-year, $200 million contract tomorrow and plenty of folks still would assume — perhaps rightly so — they still planned to trade him eventually.
While Beinfest acknowledged the team might have a unique set of challenges attracting free agents as a result of this trade, he doesn’t foresee a change to the club’s policy of not giving no-trade clauses.
“I understand there may be some disdain in the market place,” Beinfest said. “It’s not going to be my recommendation we change our view of no-trade clauses. It was certainly not the intention, and I’ll speak for Jeffrey [Loria] on this, when we signed these guys to be where we are today and to go out and not play good baseball last summer and to be where we are right now. It is what it is and we’re dealing with it.
“We won’t know until we get into those negotiations with free agents or until we show over a sustained period of time that we operate in a certain matter. It’s definitely not great for the club and we’re going to have to deal with it.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times