While Giancarlo Stanton’s destination remains unclear, Don Mattingly will be back with the Miami Marlins next season.
President of baseball operations Michael Hill confirmed Thursday that Mattingly will return for the third season of his four-year contract as manager. The decision had been expected, but the recent sale of the franchise to a group including Derek Jeter had left Mattingly’s future in question.
Hill was less illuminating regarding the status of Stanton. The All-Star right fielder led the major leagues with 59 homers and 132 RBIs, but his salary will rise to $25 million in 2018, which probably makes him too pricey for the revenue-starved Marlins to keep.
“I don’t want to speculate about any of our players or what the future holds for any of our guys,” Hill said. “But he’s a great player. He had a great season. We’re going to look to see what makes sense for this organization moving forward.”
Hill said he talked recently with Stanton but declined to reveal what he said.
Second baseman Dee Gordon, whose salary climbs to $10.8 million next year, is also likely to be shopped.
Trade talks should heat up next week at the general managers’ meetings in Orlando. The Marlins’ payroll is expected to be reduced this offseason by about one-third to around $90 million under the new ownership.
Hill declined to discuss payroll but acknowledged a new direction is needed. The Marlins haven’t been to the playoffs since they won the World Series in 2003.
“Our last winning season was 2009,” Hill said. “We won 77 games this past year. What we have been doing has not worked or been good enough. As we move forward and look forward, we know we have to improve in multiple areas. Our goal is to be playoff contenders year in and year out and bring a championship back to South Florida.”
Hill has been with the Marlins since 2002. While he was retained, there has been significant turnover elsewhere in the organization, with Jeter assuming a hands-on role.
“Derek is our CEO and owner of our club,” Hill said. “He sets the tone and direction for us as an organization. I speak to him on a regular basis. It’s a normal chain of command. He’s my boss. I report to him and share my thoughts as pertains to everything baseball operations.”
The only change in the coaching staff was the departure of outfield-baserunning coach Lorenzo Bundy, Hill said.