The Miami Marlins intend on retaining their best players until the team's ownership situation clears up, president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Sunday.
That hasn't stopped other major league clubs from checking in on the Marlins' core pieces — Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto, Dan Straily and Justin Bour — but for now Hill said he has no intentions of trading anybody in that group.
"It's been fairly consistent with people checking in to see where we're at, to see if we may be open to expanding the players we're talking about," Hill said. "Just tell them who is in play and the other guys are not."
For most of the year, owner Jeffrey Loria has been in negotiations to sell the team. Jorge Mas, the South Florida billionaire businessman, leads one of the three interested groups. Another is highlighted by baseball icon Derek Jeter, who has been on a months-long search for investors to meet Loria's approximately $1.2 billion asking price.
Until a new regime can come in and decide on a big-picture direction for the franchise, don't expect the Marlins' top players to go anywhere.
There doesn't seem to be any urgency for Hill to make significant moves leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.
"Those guys are core, controllable pieces. They fit for anybody," Hill said. "The relievers are more trade deadline-centric. You're going to get value for those guys. You want to take advantage of the deadline. Those other guys are controllable."
For now, that leaves the Marlins willing to trade smaller pieces — most notably closer AJ Ramos, with reliever David Phelps and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria already gone.
About a half-dozen teams are in on Ramos, possibly including the Rays.
Regarding a report that the Yankees inquired about Stanton, Hill said: "It's that time of year. Everybody's got all kinds of stuff out there."
Uncertainty at the top limits — or simplifies — the Marlins' trade front.
"It's tough to do with the uncertainty," Hill said. "Those players that carry value now, it just makes sense this time of year.
"We haven't played well enough to be buyers. You try to get value and rebuild your system as best you can with those pieces. With the larger pieces, when you get some certainty, hopefully you get clarity and move forward once you have that."