Can Derek Jeter Keep Stanton In Miami? New Marlins Owner Drops Trade Hints On First Day

As the face of the New York Yankees for so many years, Derek Jeter built a legacy on being able to deliver repeatedly in high-pressure situations.

Now Jeter finds himself in another, if very different, high-pressure situation as the Miami Marlins co-owner. And it sounds as if he’s going to try and put those clutch, Hall of Fame nerves to good use.

In a series of essays for the Players' Tribune, the publication he founded, Jeter laid out a general blueprint for how he plans to run a franchise that was touched by tragedy last year with the death of Jose Fernandez, and finished the 2017 regular season with a losing record.

Jeter and controlling owner Bruce Sherman led the investment group that made the $1.2 billion purchase from Jeffrey Loria, who oversaw eight straight losing seasons in Miami—the longest streak in Major League Baseball.

“The way I see it, doing things the right way, over and over, leads to sustained success,” Jeter wrote on Tuesday. “I’m not just talking about wins and losses—winning games is very important to everyone—but also about developing a winning culture throughout the organization. That’s what is most important, and that journey starts today. It will not happen overnight. But our ownership group is focused on building a team that this community can be proud of.

“The next era of Marlins baseball begins now. Let’s have some fun—it’s the Miami way.”

Alongside Jeter’s piece, the Players Tribune' published a photo essay of a mostly-smiling Jeter on his first day at work as co-owner. In one, Jeter signs a ball for a small boy in a Giancarlo Stanton jersey.

The timing is interesting, for sure. The decision over whether to trade Stanton, the probably National League M.V.P. and MLB home-run king this season, is the most pressing on-field challenge Jeter faces. Stanton slugged at a historic rate in the 2017 season, hammering 59 homers.

But the face of the franchise, as Jeter was in New York, has that vast $325 million contract tying him to the Marlins through the 2029 season. “I don’t want to rebuild… I’ve lost for seven years,” Stanton told FanRag Sports last Friday, on a weekend when he could have broken Roger Maris’s mark of 61 home runs in a season. In an article published on Tuesday, Yahoo Sports noted the debt the new Marlins ownership has taken on, claiming that Jeter will look to slash the payroll and naturally enter a rebuild. In which case, Stanton’s contract no longer fits in Miami. Of course, with a full no-trade clause it’s Stanton’s decision where he goes, if he goes.

Interesting timing, too, on the day the young, rebuilding Yankees play the Twins in the Bronx in the American League wild-card game. The Yankees look to have a core in place now with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and Greg Bird. The Marlins can’t hope to accomplish the same, really, unless they trade Stanton.

It’s unlikely someone as savvy as Jeter would use Stanton’s name in a picture, on his own publication no less, without some kind of significance behind it. Perhaps he stays; more likely he goes—either way, it’s a decision that will define the first part of Jeter’s tenure.

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