NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It didn't take long to stir up emotions regarding Giancarlo Stanton and his status with the Marlins.
On the first day of the Winter Meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, a report surfaced that Stanton remains unhappy. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com quoted Joel Wolfe, Stanton's agent, as saying: "It wasn't a reaction. It was a state of mind."
Wolfe declined to say if the 23-year-old has asked to be traded.
Stanton made his feelings known that he questioned the Marlins' direction after the team completed a 12-player trade with the Blue Jays two weeks ago. By dealing Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck, Miami moved $160 million in salary.
Since the deal, the Marlins have had a couple of conversations with Wolfe. But they hadn't spoken to the agent regarding Monday's story. The Marlins understand they have some mending to do with Stanton.
"We've talked to the agent a few times," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said late Monday afternoon. "I'll keep those conversations private."
The Marlins have no intention of trading Stanton, who is coming off a 37-homer season. Stanton is considered a building block for Miami. And the team is hoping emotions simmer by the time Spring Training begins in February.
"Yeah, I think you have to have some concern," Beinfest said. "Is it a grave concern? I know [Giancarlo] is a professional. He's a great kid, and he's going to come to play."
The team is hopeful that when it is time to get into a baseball environment, around new teammates, Stanton will be ready to perform.
"I understand the disappointment and questions about the direction of the team," Beinfest said. "Those are understandable. I think we anticipated some of that. I have no doubt that Mike will get through it, be a professional. He's always behaved in that manner since Day 1.
"I don't know what Mike or Joel are saying. It's not an issue. We're not here to certainly stir up anything on that front at all. So if there are other things happening, and they're naturally happening, fine. It's not coming from us."
Beinfest didn't elaborate about any of his conversations with Wolfe, or say if Stanton has asked to be traded. The Marlins do anticipate being without Stanton for a few weeks in Spring Training. But that's because he is on a provisional list to play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.
The Classic rosters will be set in mid-January. Miami has no problem with Stanton representing his country.
"We would definitely support it," Beinfest said.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond reached out to Stanton before Thanksgiving, and the conversation was productive.
"We had good communication. He's obviously a professional," Redmond said. "He understands what he means to this organization and this team. He's got a lot at stake. He knows he has to go out there and perform and have a big year.
"He's our cleanup hitter. I feel good in saying he's going to go out there and he's going to prepare himself to have a monster year. I'm excited to see him play and see what he can offer. He's going to be fine. He will be ready for Spring Training and be ready to go when the bell rings."
The Marlins began what was a dramatic remaking of their roster in July. In all, 12 players from the Opening Day roster have been traded, and Ozzie Guillen was dismissed as manager following a 69-93, last-place season.
"Going back to July, we said, 'You know what, we have so much invested here. Did we give it enough time?'" Beinfest said. "I understand the argument that maybe we didn't. I understand that it was 2 1/2, three months with that group. But there were zero signs that anything was going to happen. We just couldn't see, any of us, that it was going to catch fire and start clicking."
Along with moving players, the Marlins have cut payroll to roughly $40 million, after it was around $100 million to stat the 2012 season.
"Coupled with the payroll component, we said, 'You know what? We're not sure that if we stay as is that we're going to get where we need to go,'" Beinfest said. "We are one of those teams where, you're either ready to win or not. You're not like ready to finish .500. That's not really our goal. Either you think you're really ready to win or you're not ready to win. I'm not sure that anybody felt like we were really ready."