Stanton unlikely to sign multi-year deal with Miami

MIAMI — The Marlins face a 1 p.m. ET on Friday deadline to come to contract terms with their three arbitration-eligible players.

But according to a league source, barring a dramatic change of events, Miami will not be locking up slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term contract. At least, such an agreement would not take place on Friday.

Friday is the salary arbitration exchange date for all qualifying players.

Stanton is arbitration eligible for the first time. The 24-year-old slugger has belted 117 home runs since being called up from Double-A Jacksonville in 2010, and he is one of the premier right fielders in the game.

For months, the Marlins stated publicly that they would entertain signing Stanton to a multi-year contract.

“It’s not going to happen,” the league source said.

It’s unclear if serious long-term discussions occurred. Indications are, the idea was at least discussed. It’s also been reported that Stanton may not be willing to remain in Miami past his target date to reach free agency. That will be after the 2016 season.

Even without a long-term deal, the Marlins are hoping to avoid an arbitration hearing with Stanton.

The club has a policy to break off negotiations after the salary exchange deadline. If that occurred, the Marlins and Stanton’s representatives would present their offers, and an arbitration panel would decide at a hearing in February the slugger’s salary for 2014.

Stanton, closer Steve Cishek and lefty reliever Mike Dunn are Miami’s three arbitration players.

Stanton made $537,000 last year. His salary is expected to jump to about $7 million.

Even without a multi-year contract, the Marlins plan on retaining Stanton at least for the 2014 season. The club could sign him on a season-to-season basis until 2016. In that case, there would be plenty of trade speculation, and chances are, the longest he would remain a Marlin is two more years.

Joe Frisaro

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