ORLANDO, Fla. -- Making tough decisions is part of the organizational makeover the Marlins are going through under principal owner Bruce Sherman and chief executive officer Derek Jeter.At the General Managers Meetings on Wednesday, Jeter said that the changes taking place are part of a broader picture, which is to
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Making tough decisions is part of the organizational makeover the Marlins are going through under principal owner Bruce Sherman and chief executive officer Derek Jeter.
At the General Managers Meetings on Wednesday, Jeter said that the changes taking place are part of a broader picture, which is to build a perennial contender in Miami. But the process may take a little time.
"I think it just starts with communicating," Jeter said. "You let people know what you're doing, that you have a plan. Every move that we've made is a strategic move. We're trying to build something. 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."
Sherman and Jeter assumed ownership of the Marlins on Oct. 2, and since then, they've been addressing every department. There's been turnover in the front office, player development and scouting, and more moves are expected with the big league roster.
"Like I said before, some may be unpopular decisions," Jeter said. "But just know that every decision we make is to try to turn this franchise around."
The player receiving the most attention at the GM Meetings is the face of the franchise, All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. The slugger is a National League MVP Award finalist after setting franchise highs for home runs (59) and RBIs (132), and he is the subject of trade speculation.
Stanton also is the most expensive player on the team, with his salary set to rise to $25 million in 2018, and he has $295 million remaining on his contract.
Jeter said he hasn't directly talked with Stanton, who has a full no-trade clause. But president of baseball operations Michael Hill has been in contact with the right fielder. Jeter also noted that the Marlins have not publicly stated Stanton will be traded.
"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.
"Michael Hill has been in contact with him. Michael has spoken with him. That's Michael's job. He's the president of baseball ops, so he has spoken with him. It's not like this radio silence coming from the organization."
Jeter inherits a club that hasn't had a winning season since 2009 and most recently went to the playoffs in '03. The club has struggled on the field, going 77-85 in '17, and it ranks close to the bottom in home attendance.
"The team hasn't been in the playoffs since 2003," Jeter said. "They haven't had a winning season since '09. That's unacceptable. 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."
With the team expected to trade at least some of their core players, payroll is expected to shrink from $115 million in 2017 to around $100 million.
"We need to make adjustments," Jeter said. "We can't continue to run the organization how it's been run, so we have to change that. I guess that's the best way to put it. If we were going to run the organization the way it was run before, we wouldn't have bought it."
One popular player already told he will not return is Ichiro Suzuki, the iconic 44-year-old outfielder, who was once a teammate of Jeter's with the Yankees. Miami recently declined Ichiro's $2 million club option.
"I was very vocal about Ichy when I played with him," Jeter said. "He's one of my favorite teammates I've ever had. I have the utmost respect for him. We had the conversation, and as an organization, we said we were going to move in another direction. He couldn't have been more professional about it."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.