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Marlins fans have a new ally in their war of words against team owner Jeffrey Loria: right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins' slugger told MLB.com Friday that he is not happy about the new direction taken by the team in the wake of a 69-93 2012 campaign.
"I do not like this at all," Stanton said days after Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and others were traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for spare parts and minor leaguers.
"They talked about that, a winning philosophy, and how they were building a winner to play in the new ballpark," he continued, referring to the spending spree before the 2012 season that brought Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell to South Florida. "They talked about how they'd have Jose and [Emilio Bonifacio] and Hanley [Ramirez] in front of me and how they would go get a bat to protect me. Jose, Bonifacio, Hanley ... all three are gone now."
Stanton seems to feel as hurt by the Marlins recent actions as the team's fans are. He also said that other players have taken notice, and the Marlins may not have enough credibility around the league to sway future free agents to come to Miami.
"Former Marlins come back and they warn us. It gets talked about during the stretch, in the clubhouse, after games, on the road. Again, I do not like this at all."
Stanton is not the only player mad about the trade. Fox Sports reported late Friday that Buehrle and Reyes were told before they signed deals with the Marlins last winter that they would not be traded. Both were sent to Toronto last week.
The Marlins are notorious for never giving their players no-trade clauses. Knowing that, it is hard to believe that anyone could take a verbal no-trade assurance from the team seriously.
Regardless, the Marlins seem to be in trouble if they want to sign Stanton to a contract extension any time soon. He will not become a free agent until after the 2016 season, but clubs have become more proactive in signing players of Stanton's caliber to long-term deals well before their rookie contracts expire.
"There's nothing I can do. I'm not going to change the way I work out in the offseason and prepare. I'm not going to change the way I approach the game. I'm not going to change the way I play every day."
If the past is any indication, Marlins fans should enjoy watching Stanton in orange and black while they can. Nothing lasts forever at Marlins Park.