ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Now a rookie executive instead of a veteran player, Derek Jeter arrived for his first major league owners’ meeting and said the Miami Marlins are listening to trade offers for slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.
Jeter became the Marlins’ chief executive officer when a group headed by venture capitalist Bruce Sherman bought the team Oct. 2 from Jeffrey Loria. The former New York Yankees captain, a five-time World Series champion, said Miami needed to turn around both on and off the field. Payroll will be cut, and Stanton could be dealt after hitting 59 home runs — the highest total in the major leagues since 2001.
“We’re exploring options, what opportunities are there,” Jeter said Wednesday. “We’re listening. Teams haven’t only reached out about Stanton. They’ve reached out about a lot of our players, which says a lot about the players in our organization.”
Stanton a 28-year-old outfielder, is guaranteed $295 million over the remaining decade of his record 13-year contract. He will earn $25 million next season and has a full no-trade provision, giving him power to control any deal.
“There are some financial things we have to get in order,” Jeter said. “It’s an organization that’s been losing money for quite some time, so we have to turn that around. How we do that, it’s not clear. Yeah, I think 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.”
A 14-time All-Star over 20 big league seasons in a playing career that ended three years ago, Jeter swapped his Yankees pinstripes for a blue-gray business suit, white shirt without a necktie and black cap-toe shoes. He never played on a team with a losing record during 23 professional seasons, so the Marlins have a traditional he is unacquainted with.
“The team hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2003 and haven’t had a winning season since `09. So that’s unacceptable,” he said. “It’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, and we’re in that position right now.”
Miami had a $116 million payroll on Aug. 31, up from $81 million at the end of last year. In the prime of his career, Stanton would prefer to be on a winning team.
“I think a lot of this started when he came out and expressed publicly that he didn’t want to be a part of a rebuild,” Jeter said.
Jeter is at work to hire a head of business operations and said the team will try to increase revenue by selling naming rights to Marlins Park, which opened in 2012.
A long-time resident of Tampa, Jeter said he had acquired a home in Miami.
“I think I’ve been back to Tampa two days since we’ve gotten this team,” he said.
Now 43, Jeter had long expressed a goal of owning a big league franchise.
“It’s strange to think of Derek being involved and wearing the colors of a different club,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said. “He’s going to do great there. He knows baseball. He’s a good leader and, obviously, very hard-working.”
Steinbrenner also opined: “He’s got his hands full.”
Mike Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, says he is in contact with Jeter about five times daily. While Hill has communicated with Stanton, Jeter has not.
“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.”
NOTES: Jeter confirmed former Marlins Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jeff Conine and Jack McKeon turned down the chance to stay with the team in reduced roles with lower salaries. “They came into the office. We spoke to them, let them know what capacity it was, and it was their decision. And I respect that decision.”