Just when you thought the Hot Stove was dying down, the Miami Marlins come along and throw a little gasoline on the fire.
In case you may have missed it over the weekend, Marlins assistant general manager Dan Jennings was on the radio and stated that the team would listen if teams called on burgeoning superstar Giancarlo Stanton.
"Oh, I think that's been our [modus operandi]. I know in the 10 years I've been here, that's our M.O.," Jennings told Sirius/XM/MLB Network Radio. "We've never not listened to a deal on any player. Sometimes I chuckle when I hear people say, 'This guy's untouchable,' and 'That guy's untouchable.' You know what? They may be untouchable, until someone either overwhelms you or you get a package back that makes such a significant improvement on your club going forward. So we've always been willing to listen.
"So while we're not shopping him, certainly not looking to move him, yeah, if someone knocked on our door and said, 'Hey, would you guys consider this and this and this,' you have to listen."
So, of course, the Marlins are going to deal Stanton now, right? Well, probably not, but it gives us baseball people something to talk about for a week or so until perhaps the most talked about Hall of Fame class is released.
It's no secret that Stanton has been unhappy with the direction Miami has chosen to take this offseason following the landscape changing trade that sent Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle among others to Toronto as part of a 12-player deal.
Most assumed Stanton would be the next to go, but Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest has stood firm in saying that his young outfielder is not on the block.
And he likely isn't. But that won't stop teams from calling. Or people in the media from speculating on his availability. A GM isn't doing his job, though, if he's not listening to offers, even on a young stud like Stanton.
Now, most teams wouldn't want to deal a 23-year-old power hitter. That's the type of piece you build around. Especially one whose 93 home runs through the age of 22 are second only to Alex Rodriguez (106) since 1965. But, these are the Marlins. They tend to do things a little differently.
However, if the Marlins are in true rebuild mode and it certainly appears that they are considering they will have about $20 million in committed payroll at the start of the season, it may actually make some sense from a baseball point of view to deal Stanton now.
For one, it can't get any worse for the team from a public relations standpoint. That new stadium is going to be empty regardless if Stanton is there or not. The deal with Toronto ensured that.
Plus, Stanton's value will never be higher than it is right now. He won't be arbitration eligible until next year, meaning any team that deals for him then is going to have to pay him. It's not crazy to think that Stanton could top Ryan Howard's $10 million first time figure from back in 2008.
And he'd only get more expensive each year after that, unless, of course, he comes to terms on some sort of long-term agreement. And given what's happened here this offseason, that's probably not happening with the Marlins.
Take a look at what should be the Marlins' Opening Day roster. That is a team that is going to lose over 100 games. What sense does it make to keep Stanton around when you could get four or five top-level prospects back in return?
Supposedly the Seattle Mariners have already begun talking with the Marlins. They won't be the only team, though. There will be at least 10 teams who would come calling. But, you are going to have to back up the Brinks truck to get him.
Chances are Stanton isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But the speculation should hold us over for another five or six weeks until pitchers and catchers report.