MIAMI (AP) — New Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter says the team has made no decision regarding right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who is on the trading block following an MVP season.
The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are considered front-runners to acquire Stanton, with both teams offering a package of prospects. But the major league home run champion can veto any deal because his record $325 million, 13-year contract includes a no-trade clause.
“We will explore every option out there to make our organization better,” Jeter said Tuesday on the Marlins’ flagship radio station, WINZ-AM. “There have been no decisions. We have not made many decisions on the baseball side. We’re still gathering information. Anything up to this point has been speculation.”
The revenue-starved Marlins hope to trade Stanton to help reduce payroll by at least 20 percent to $90 million or less as part of a rebuilding under a new ownership group that includes Jeter.
Stanton is owed $295 million over the final decade of his contract, including $25 million in 2018. He led the major leagues this year with 59 homers and 132 RBIs and was voted National League MVP.
“He is arguably the best player in the game,” Jeter said. “He had one of the greatest seasons I’ve seen a player have in the last 20-plus years.”
Unless a deal is completed this week, Stanton’s future will be the No. 1 topic at the baseball winter meetings beginning Sunday in Orlando. President of baseball operations Michael Hill will be the Marlins’ point man in negotiations, rather than Jeter.
“I have never been to the winter meetings,” Jeter said, “and quite frankly I don’t think I’m going to the winter meetings this time, either. Michael and I will be in constant communication. I’ll let him enjoy it, and I’ll just get the updates.”
Jeter, the former captain of the New York Yankees, became the Marlins’ chief executive officer when a group headed by venture capitalist Bruce Sherman bought the team for $1.2 billion in October.