MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins have done a good job keeping their promise to Giancarlo Stanton after signing the slugger to a record $325 million contract last November.
They had to convince him that the team would spend money to bring in more talent and build a roster that could contend for a playoff spot.
The Marlins have been very active during the offseason, acquiring several key players to join their up-and-coming young core.
While the team has already added players like second baseman Dee Gordon, power hitter Michael Morse and starting pitcher Mat Latos, the Marlins are still looking to improve their 2015 roster.
Top-tier starting pitcher James Shields is a free agent and is being courted by several teams, including Miami.
When Shields signs with someone, it will likely be in the $100 million range.
He's already reportedly been offered a 5-year deal worth $110 million by an undisclosed team, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Some baseball experts think that kind of money is more than the Marlins are looking to offer, but the team has remained very quiet on the Shields front.
It's no secret that Miami would like to add another starting pitcher to its rotation, though the need isn't imperative as the Marlins are expected to get Jose Fernandez back in the lineup sometime around the 2015 All-Star break.
They also still own the rights to starter Dan Haren, who was acquired as part of the Dee Gordon trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Haren has made it very well known that he prefers to play for a team on the west coast in order to remain in close proximity with his family, who currently live in southern California.
He has said that he would rather retire than play for a team away from his family, but has yet to tell the Marlins that he will in fact call it quits if they can't trade him to a team out west.
Should Haren retire, he would forfeit the $10 million salary that he's due to be paid in 2015.
At first Miami hoped to convince Haren to reconsider his stance, but those hopes have faded.
Either way, the Marlins will not be on the hook for the $10 million. As part of the trade, the Dodgers agreed to pay the full amount of Haren's salary to Miami regardless of whether he plays for them or not.
Currently, Miami is searching for a trade partner suitable for Haren and there may very well be a market for the 34-year-old pitcher.
He went 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 2014 and was strong down the stretch, going 5-2 with a 2.43 ERA in his final 10 starts.
The Marlins are also taking a look at a pair of lefty hitters in Ichiro Suzuki and Nate Schierholtz.
While Miami's starting outfield is set with Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton, Ichiro could be a nice reserve player both on the field and at the plate.
Ichiro hit .284/.324/.340 last season with the Yankees, and he's also still got some speed despite having turned 41 in October.
As for Schierholtz, he's coming off of a very tough season at the plate, hitting just .195/.243/.309 with 7 homeruns and 37 RBI's in 122 games between the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals.
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