Stable environment key to retaining Stanton
ORLANDO — If the Marlins sincerely hope to retain their core players long term, the organization must do a better job of creating a more stable environment.
Along with player turnover, there also has been sweeping changes in regards to managers, coaches and this season, the front office.
Around a young core, the organization is seeking to build for a better tomorrow.
A centerpiece in their plans is Giancarlo Stanton, eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Stanton, who recently turned 24, is three seasons away from being a free agent. And there is constant speculation that he may ultimately be traded.
In recent weeks, high ranking Miami officials stated Stanton isn’t going anywhere. New general manager Dan Jennings said publicly that the slugger is “unavailable.” And first-year president of baseball operations Michael Hill says the team is looking to build around Stanton.
Still, because of their track record, there is skepticism. At the General Managers Meetings, some are saying that if the price is right, Stanton could be moved.
Now, that remains highly doubtful, because the Marlins are in need of an offensive upgrade. Stanton simply is too difficult to replace.
He may also be tough to sign long-term. But money, obviously, talks.
The Marlins have noted they are weighing whether to approach Stanton about a multi-year deal.
One way to sell Stanton on staying in Miami for the foreseeable future is to develop some stability with the coaching staff.
Since Stanton was promoted to the big leagues at age 20 on June 8, 2010, he is about to work with his fourth different hitting coach. He’s also played for five different managers — Fredi Gonzalez, Edwin Rodriguez, Jack McKeon, Ozzie Guillen and Mike Redmond.
Some may technically say it is six, because for one game, Brandon Hyde managed the day Rodriguez resigned in June of 2011. McKeon was hired on an interim basis the next day.
When it comes directly to hitting, Stanton is repeatedly getting instruction for several different voices.
In Spring Training of 2010, before he was called up from Double-A, Stanton worked with John Mallee, who also coached him in the Minors. Prior to his big league debut, Mallee was dismissed and replaced by Eduardo Perez.
In 2013, Tino Martinez was the hitting coach, before he was let go and John Pierson stepped in on an interim basis.
The hitting coach in 2014 will be Frank Menechino, who spent the past few seasons in the Yankees system.
That’s five different messages on hitting in parts of five seasons.
To get Stanton to buy into the system, the organization needs to do a better job of not so frequently changing the message.
– Joe Frisaro