MIAMI -- Sitting in striking distance in the National League East has the Marlins weighing which direction they will go before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Miami entered Thursday night 5 1/2 games off the pace in the NL East, and two games under .500. It's not ideal positioning, but it still is an encouraging spot before going on the road for nine games ahead of the All-Star break.
President of baseball operations Michael Hill and general manager Dan Jennings are surveying the market for potential trade options. The Marlins don't promise to be sellers, and they could be buyers. They also may wind up staying the course, seeing how the current roster progresses in the second half.
As for the players, manager Mike Redmond said they have to be focused on playing and controlling what they can control.
"All of these guys have been around the game long enough," Redmond said. "They understand there is talk and rumors. The Trade Deadline sometimes is tough for some guys, because there are always some guys' names thrown around in trade [talk]. But those are things we can't control. Players can't control."
The front office promises to be actively looking, but is being careful on what to spend and whether to overspend.
"That's their job, to find ways, if they can, to better our ballclub," Redmond said. "Our focus is what we do on the field. It's trying every day to try to win a ballgame. We're trying to win as many ballgames as we can. The other stuff is out of our control. We'll see what happens."
Stanton, McGehee seek final All-Star push
MIAMI -- Among the top outfielders in the National League, Giancarlo Stanton's numbers stand out as the best.
Still, the Marlins slugger must make up ground on the final day of fan voting to secure a starting spot in the All-Star Game. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, and Stanton ranked fourth in voting among outfielders.
"I know I talk about it all the time, how much he means to our team," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We need to get him in that starting lineup. He deserves that."
The numbers tell the story. Stanton paced the NL in home runs (21) and RBIs (61), heading into Thursday's game. Across the board, his numbers in a variety of categories all stand out. Stanton's slash line was .313/.412/.585.
Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates led NL outfielders in voting. He had a slash line of .313/.419/.519, with 12 homers and 49 RBIs. Carlos Gomez of the Brewers, in second place, was hitting .306/.372/.516, with 13 homers and 45 RBIs. Yasiel Puig was third, hitting .314/.401/.518, including 11 homers and 46 RBIs.
Stanton isn't the only Marlins position player worthy of votes. Casey McGehee led NL third basemen in batting average (.312) and RBIs (49).
"We'd love to have both Stanton and Casey McGehee in that All-Star Game," Redmond said. "You think about a great story, and where he was last year."
McGehee spent 2013 in Japan, and he's making a case as an All-Star and Comeback Player of the Year.
"Coming back and making the most of it," Redmond said. "Great guy. Great clubhouse guy. Look at what he's been able to do. Big hit after big hit. He's an All-Star on our team, absolutely."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Stanton is expected to make the overall roster, and he could be a designated hitter option if he isn't voted in as a starting outfielder. The Miami standout also has committed to participating in the Home Run Derby.
• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (right triceps) will begin his rehab assignment for Class A Advanced Jupiter on Friday. The best-case scenario is that Hechavarria will come out of the game feeling ready to rejoin the big league club. If that is the case, he could be with the Marlins and active at St. Louis on Sunday. However, it is appearing that the shortstop will play at least a couple of games with the Hammerheads. If he goes that route, he will join the team during the series at Arizona, which begins on Monday.
• Tom Koehler, on the paternity list, remains on schedule to start on Monday in Arizona. His wife, Ashley, is expected to have the baby at any time.
• One more international signing was announced on Thursday. The Marlins have signed right-hander Jose Veras from Venezuela.