It seems all Giancarlo Stanton ever wanted was to play for an honest organization.
Hours after the 12-player fire sale in November, which saw Stanton's Miami Marlins dump Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio for a collection of the Toronto Blue Jays' prospects, Stanton blasted the following tweet: Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple.
"I can deal with losing as long as one is trying to win," Stanton told MLB.com's Peter Gammons a few days after the trade."If you're losing and you're not trying to win, that is not fair. I play to have fun, I play to win, I play for my teammates.
"Then to say it's not about money, what is the motivation? Where is that winning philosophy? How many times do you have to be told something and have it change before you realize what's going on? It's like the boy who cried wolf."
Ever since then, rumors have swirled about potential Stanton trades, but here we are, less than a month before the start of spring training and the Marlins are intent to build their organization around Stanton—for now.
Last month, Marlins assistant general manager Dan Jennings told ESPN's Jim Bowden the club is not actively shopping Stanton, but they will listen to offers for the 23-year-old slugger.
“We’ve never not listened to a deal on any player,” Jennings said.
Although Stanton is unhappy about the direction of the franchise, this can be fixed. All the Marlins have to do is build Stanton a winner before it's too late. Luckily for Miami, they have time on their side as Stanton is under team control for four more years. In reality, though, the Marlins probably have two, maybe three, years to construct a winner around Stanton's prodigious talents and convince the star outfielder to sign a long-term contract extension.
For the Marlins to accomplish such a task though, they must execute the following blueprint.