Facts and fiction regarding Stanton trade rumors

PITTSBURGH — It’s a week after MLB’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, and still speculation circles around Giancarlo Stanton.

The fact the Marlins are at Pittsburgh didn’t help them go away, because the Pirates are one of the teams that checked in on Stanton’s availability.

Shortly after the July 31 deadline, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported the Pirates made a “substantial offer” for Miami’s 23-year-old slugger.

Recently, another report claimed the Pirates offered Gerrit Cole, Starling Marte, James Taillon and Stetson Allie for Stanton, Steve Cishek and Justin Ruggiano.

If so, that would have indeed been a blockbuster trade, and in interesting one considering it would have meant the Pirates were willing to part with their prize young pitching propsect (Cole) and leadoff batter (Marte).

But the fact is, such an offer was never made.

Not one, not two, not three, but four high-placed sources all claim such a proposal never took place.

“Absolutely not,” one source said with conviction.

Clearly, a number of teams in search of pop in their lineup made inquires. Other teams that were on the fence, checked in, because they didn’t want to be “blindsided” if the Marlins were indeed shopping Stanton.

Face it, if Stanton was on the market, the Marlins would have opened up the bidding to far more than one or two teams. The Red Sox, after all, were primed to make their pitch. So were the Nationals, and others.

Basically, the Marlins told interested clubs Stanton was not available, and no names were exchanges. Perhaps some general concepts were tossed around, like, it would take a couple of established big leaguers and a top prospect or two. But nothing like moving two core players from a playoff frontrunner for Stanton and more.

What is very real is the Marlins are hoping to build around Stanton, and the plan on discussing a multiyear deal with him after the season.

Stanton is headed for arbitration in 2014, and he would qualify for free agency after the 2016 season. Even if he says no to signing long-term, and he wants to sign year-to-year through 2016, the Marlins are hopeful to have Stanton in the middle of their order next season.

Also, what’s very real is Stanton is struggling at the plate, and he is the first to admit it.

“I haven’t shown up to play, all season,” Stanton told MLB.com before Miami lost 4-3 to the Pirates on Tuesday. “And that’s the most frustrating thing in the world. I’ve probably had two 15 at-bat stints where I’ve played OK, and that’s it — all season. All [darn] season.”

Don’t misinterpret Stanton’s candor for him saying he hasn’t cared or properly prepared.

“Read it exactly how it is. I haven’t shown up to play,” the slugger said. “Did I prepare less? No. Did I care less? No. It just hasn’t been there. As the person that I am, and how prepared as I am, that’s unacceptable.”

— Joe Frisaro

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