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Jeter addresses Stanton trade rumors

Marlins' new chief executive officer says trading slugger not a certainty
MLB.com @feinsand

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Derek Jeter is getting a good look at how the other half lives.

The Marlins' new chief executive officer met with the media Wednesday, and predictably, Giancarlo Stanton was the hot topic.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Derek Jeter is getting a good look at how the other half lives.

The Marlins' new chief executive officer met with the media Wednesday, and predictably, Giancarlo Stanton was the hot topic.

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Stanton has been the predominant name of the offseason to this point, with multiple teams attached to the slugger as potential trade destinations. Jeter stressed Wednesday that the Marlins have not made any public declarations that they will trade him for certain, suggesting there's a chance Stanton could open the 2018 season as part of Miami's lineup.

That said, Jeter noted that the club has "some financial things we have to get in order," a process that could begin with a trade of Stanton, who is owed $295 million over the next decade.

Jeter: Marlins 'building for the future'

"This is an organization that's been losing money for quite some time, so we have to turn it around," Jeter said. "How we do that? It's not clear. It's easy to point the finger at him because he makes the most money, but that doesn't necessarily mean that that's the move that's going to be made.

"We're here [at the General Managers Meetings] like every other team, trying to figure out how we can make this organization better. No one has come out and said that we are specifically trading Giancarlo Stanton. We're seeing the best way to make this organization successful, and we want it to be sustainable for a long time."

Video: Jeter still learning how to be an owner of a team

Jeter has not spoken with Stanton since being approved with Bruce Sherman as the new Marlins owners, saying he would do so when the situation called for it.

"If there's a reason to call, I'll call him; at this point, there's no reason to call him," Jeter said. "I understand the assumptions, I do. But we have not publicly come out and said that we were trading any particular player. I've been a player. You don't like to read about your name constantly being in the rumors that are going back and forth with every organization. You'll drive yourself crazy."

Miami's president of baseball operations has talked to the slugger.

"Michael Hill has been in contact with him," Jeter said. "Michael has spoken with him. That's Michael's job. He's the president of baseball ops, so he has spoken to him. It's not like it's radio silence coming from the organization."

During his playing career with the Yankees, Jeter had a very close relationship with George Steinbrenner, though he noted that his relationship with Hal Steinbrenner was quite different when the latter assumed control of the team in 2007.

"When the time is right, we'll speak," Jeter said. "I don't know how often the owner calls and talks to all the players on the team and shares visions. … [Hal Steinbrenner] didn't share his vision every single offseason. At some point, we'll have conversation. I don't know when that is.

"If you get into the practice of reaching out to every time there is a rumor to every player, you'd be spending 95 percent of your time on the phone trying to dispel rumors."

At some point, the Marlins will have to bring Stanton into the mix if they're moving toward a trade. Thanks to his full no-trade clause, Stanton will have the final say regarding any potential move out of Miami.

"He would have to be part of the conversation, if that were the case," Jeter said.

Video: Feinsand on potential Stanton landing spots

There were few things Jeter loathed during his career as much as questions about hypothetical situations, routinely declining to answer them. That's what seemed to exasperate him Wednesday, as all Stanton-related queries were based on the notion that the Marlins are resigned to dealing him.

"I never comment on ifs or hypotheticals," Jeter said. "Everything is complicated -- that's the best way to put it. As you guys can tell, I'm trying to be very careful. We have not said that we are trading him, so I'm answering questions about hypotheticals."

The Stanton situation is a tricky one for Jeter, who doesn't use the word "rebuilding" when discussing his new team's plans because of the negative connotations that term suggests. Jeter, who as a player famously adopted George Steinbrenner's philosophy that anything short of a World Series championship is a lost season, knows that the Marlins have their work cut out for them as they try to straighten out the business side of things while attempting to put a competitive team on the field.

"The team hasn't been in the playoffs since 2003; they haven't had a winning season since '09. That's unacceptable," Jeter said. "That's unacceptable to the ownership group. It's unacceptable to the fan base. So yes, it will take time. But every team has to go through a period where they have to build. We're in that position right now."

Jeter's old team was supposedly heading into a rebuilding year in 2017, but the emergence of the Yankees' young stars-in-the-making carried them all the way to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. With that in mind, Jeter remained true to himself Wednesday, refusing to count the Marlins out next season regardless of what moves are made in the weeks and months ahead.

"I don't ever go into a season thinking this or that is going to happen," Jeter said. "You play the games. You put the best players on the field, and anything is possible. I don't go into anything saying we're going to lose. I don't have that approach."

It still seems likely that Stanton will be moved before next season, though it remains to be seen what type of prospects the Marlins would receive in a deal or how much money Miami would have to chip in to make a trade happen.

Whatever the final result is, Jeter made one thing clear: He's open to doing anything he believes will be in the Marlins' best interest in both the short and long term.

"Every move that we make is a strategic move; we're trying to build something," Jeter said. "We're not just going to make decisions and make moves off the cuff. We're not going to be emotional and make decisions. We're building for the future. We're going to make decisions that sometimes may be unpopular decisions, but just know that every decision we make is to try to turn this franchise around."

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton