Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Will continued losing push Giancarlo Stanton into making a decision about his future?
The rumor mill has been silent when it comes to the Miami Marlins, who surprised all of baseball with a 5-2 opening week but now sit where most believed they would be, with a losing record (5-9) and in last place in the NL East, having dropped eight games in a row.
Back in spring training, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton told CBS Sports' Jon Heyman that there was a "good vibe" around the team that had him optimistic about the future, noting that he'd "say so if there wasn't."
But Stanton also said that he'd need a full year to fully assess the state of things in Miami, the results of which will certainly have a major impact on both his future and the team's.
The 24-year-old right fielder, off to a scintillating start to the season (17 G, .305, 4 HR, 16 RBI), has two years of arbitration remaining before he's able to hit the open market as a free agent. Without question, Miami's preference would be to keep Stanton in close proximity to South Beach for as long as possible.
But let's say that the Marlins continue to flounder this season and lose 100 games for the second consecutive season, showing little progress on the rebuilding front.
Is it crazy to think that Stanton would demand a trade over the winter or, at the very least, tell the Marlins that there's no way he'll sign an extension before he hits the open market?
If either scenario plays out, Miami would have a trade chip as valuable (if not more valuable) as Tampa Bay's David Price, who's expected to be the biggest prize available this coming winter.