Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said that the team would not discuss a contract extension with star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton until after the season.
“I dont think this is the year to go to Giancarlo with an offer. We have to let him play it out, let him feel more comfortable,” Loria said, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Loria spoke to reporters for the first time Monday since a shocking offseason trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in which the team unloaded shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle.
Loria’s comments aren’t exactly a surprise, as Stanton is under team control through 2016. But Stanton has been the subject of trade rumors since the Marlins’ payroll purge in November. Loria was asked if Stanton would remain with the Marlins beyond one more year.
“I don’t have any comments about that,” he said. “One more year? He will be here this year and I’m hopefully he will come here the next year. … I would love to see him be the centerpiece of this ball club. He’d the young giant in the ball club, but you can’t make promises in this game because strange things happen all the time.”
In just his third full season, the 23-year-old Stanton hit 37 homers last season in 123 games with a .969 OPS last year.
Loria also defended the team’s offseason fire sale, saying the moves were needed because the team was not in a position to immediately contend.
“It’s not a fire sale. You can call it a fire sale. It’s called hit the restart button because it didn’t damn work,” Loria said, .
“I understand the feeling, but I have no interest in endless losing and we had two years of that. I want to us get back to our winning ways.”