The Miami Marlins have taken the first step in hopefully getting superstar slugger Giancarlo Stanton to stick around long-term, as MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports that the two sides have "already engaged in preliminary contract talks." The soon-to-be 25-year-old Stanton is currently scheduled to hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
Over the past year, there have been countless rumors of the Marlins possibly trading Stanton, with the Boston Red Sox being consistently tied to the two-time All-Star. However, the Marlins now appear intent on keeping Stanton, with Frisaro mentioning that the club is persistent in its plan to keep Stanton for the 2015 season. Stanton's level of interest in staying with the Marlins is unclear, and he has expressed dissatisfaction with the organization in the past, however, the Marlins seem to be "hopeful" in eventually persuading Stanton to sign an extension.
Stanton made $6.5 million in 2014, and is due for a significant raise in arbitration this winter following a fantastic season. A contract extension would likely fall in the range of five or six years and between $28 and $30 million annually, per Frisaro, who calls the odds of the Marlins or Stanton seeking a 10-year, $300 million deal "doubtful."
Stanton, who was recently named one of the three finalists for the NL MVP award, was phenomenal this year before his season ended in mid-September after taking a ball to the face and suffering multiple facial fractures. In 638 plate appearances, he hit .288/.395/.555 with a .403 wOBA, 159 wRC+, 6.5 WAR, and league-leading 37 home runs.