MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins still plan to make a multiyear contract offer to NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton this offseason, despite his recent season-ending injury.
Stanton suffered fractures in his face and other injuries when he was hit by a pitch Sept. 11. The Marlins are confident he’ll fully recover and be ready for spring training, and they hope to reach a long-term agreement with him.
“There’s no hesitancy, no reservation or doubt he’ll return and be even better,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Thursday before the Marlins’ home finale.
“We’re going to do everything in our power to keep him a fixture in our lineup for many years to come.”
It’s uncertain how receptive Stanton will be to the Marlins’ offer. He has expressed frustration about the cost-conscious franchise’s constant roster turnover and the pitcher-friendly dimensions at Marlins Park. The California native can become a free agent after the 2016 season and might opt for a return to his home state.
But the Marlins have a roster full of talented young players, with Stanton the centerpiece, and historically thrifty owner Jeffrey Loria is expected to make his slugger a franchise-record offer.
“We want to win championships here,” Hill said. “That’s my job and all of our jobs — to win as many games as possible. In Giancarlo Stanton you have a tremendous talent that allows you to do that.”
Before his injury, Stanton was hoping to play in all 162 games. He leads in the NL with 37 homers, and ranks among the major-league leaders in RBIs (105), slugging (.555), on-base percentage (.395) and walks (94).