Giancarlo’s not impressed

You might have missed it, but the Miami Marlins have been hanging around on the fringes of the wild-card race for a while now. As I write this, they’re only four games behind the front-running (or second-running, if you like) Giants for the second wild card.

Giancarlo Stanton doesn’t seem impressed, though:

The 24-year-old slugger is enjoying the best individual season of his career. If he can help the Marlins — who still are alive in the National League playoff race — he might be in position to win the NL MVP award.

However, it’s been a bumpy ride for much of Stanton’s career with the Marlins. If they’re unable to prove they can build a consistent winner, it sounds like Stanton would be willing to move on from the only team he’s known — no matter how this relatively upstart season ends.

“Five months doesn’t change five years,” he told Yahoo Sports on Monday.

Especially when the five months isn’t even so hot.

In Stanton’s first four seasons, the Marlins won 283 games and lost 365 games. The closest they came to a winning season was Stanton’s rookie season, when they went 80-82.

So yes, by comparison this season looks pretty good. Especially by comparison with last season, when the Marlins went 62-100. They’ve already won 65 games this season, which is fairly remarkable considering they’ve been without their ace starting pitcher for nearly the whole season.

It’s something of a mirage, though. The Marlins have been outscored this season, and they’ve been fortunate enough to play in a fairly weak division with only two good teams.

And purely in terms of talent, the Marlins have five exciting players: Stanton, Christian Yelich, Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, and Jose Fernandez if he comes back strong from his Tommy John surgery. The Marlins do have a few solid prospects in the minors, too. Realistically, though, this isn’t a 90-win team in the next two or three seasons, at least not with the talent on hand.

How do you get more talent, quickly? Well, you can trade for it. But the Marlins haven’t done much this season, except trade for Jarred Cosart (which has worked out nicely so far). In what seems a vain pursuit of a postseason berth, they’ve retained veterans Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Casey McGehee; while neither would light up the cell-phone towers if placed on the trade block, McGehee presumably had some value in July when he was still hitting .320.

Aside from those two, though? The Marlins’ only players with any trade value are the young, cheap guys they’ll need to win. Well, those guys and Giancarlo Stanton. Can you win without Giancarlo Stanton? I remember when people said you couldn’t win without Ken Griffey, Jr. That was the year the Mariners won 91 games. The year after that, they won 116 games. So it’s always good to remember that no single player is indispensable. Not if you can find his production somewhere else.

Or to put all this another way, what Ken Rosenthal said.