Preliminary talk with Stanton underway

MIAMI — The Marlins have already engaged in preliminary contract talks with Giancarlo Stanton’s agent regarding a long-term contract.

No firm timeline is in place, but the organization is hopeful of eventually reaching an extension with their two-time All-Star right fielder.

“Our negotiations, we want to keep them private,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said in a conference call on Wednesday afternoon. “We don’t want to negotiate this through the media. I will say that we’ve reached out to his representative and that negotiations are ongoing.”

Stanton, who led the National League in home runs with 37, is two seasons away from being eligible for free agency. The Marlins maintain they plan on keeping the slugger in 2015, with or without a long-term deal.

The club has made it clear it plans on building around Stanton, one of three National League MVP finalists.

In 2014, he made $6.5 million. The club hasn’t given any specifics regarding a long-term deal for Stanton. Most likely it will be in the five or six year range, averaging between $28 million to $30 million per season.

It is doubtful the club or Stanton would be seeking a 10-year deal in the $300 million range.

For now, preliminary conversations with Stanton’s agent, Joel Wolfe, are ongoing, and are expected to heat up around the General Managers Meetings next week.

“We haven’t given him a time line, and I don’t want to speculate that we would allow it to go on indefinitely,” Hill said. “But at some point, he either is going to be signed to a multi-year, or he will be signed to a one-year. We haven’t gotten to that yet. There is no deadline in place as far as the timing of thiings.”

The Marlins are planning to build around Stanton and a core of young players, who also are candidates for extensions. The team also is considering locking up left fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Marcell Ozuna and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to multi-year deals this offseason.

None of the three are eligible for arbitration.

The Marlins haven’t publicly announced their payroll parameters. But it is believed to be in the $60 million range.

“We don’t get into specifics with our payroll,” Hill said. “But the one thing that we left our organizational meetings knowing is that we’re going to be able to do what we need to do. The plan is to retain all of our players, including the big right fielder, hopefully, and find a way to continue to upgrade the roster.’

Joe Frisaro

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