The Marlins are said to be intent on making a "legitimate" attempt this winter to lock up superstar outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, according to sources, but word is some within the organization are still less than optimistic they'll be able to sign Stanton to a long-term deal anytime soon.

With the intention to try to extend Stanton and secure him for Miami, Marlins higher-ups made clear before the July 31 trade deadline to all interested teams that they had no interest in trading their one big positional star. Some rival teams are holding out hope, however, that their stance could change this winter if the fears of Marlins higher-ups are realized and it becomes clear a long extension isn't in the offing.

The sides agreed to table any extension talk until the winter after Stanton's side responded to an effort by Marlins brass to start talks last winter by telling the team he'd like to wait through the season and see how it goes. The Marlins have abided by that request; people close to the situation say there has been no contract talk since.

In fact, according to friends around the team, Stanton is said to be noticeably happier than he was two winters ago when he was upset that the organization abandoned any short-term playoff hopes by trading its high-priced veteran stars, including Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and others. But while his friends say he doesn't even think for a moment about money or an extension, they also point out that his greatest goal is to play for a perennial winner, which doesn't necessarily bode well for the Marlins' chances to keep him and may play into their fears.

Stanton's fair-market price tag has only increased markedly with his superb performance, though if there's an issue for Stanton, friends around the team suggest it's more about wins (and the ability to play for an annual contender) than dollars. To this point, the Marlins have showed no outward desire or inclination to trade their franchise type position player, but rivals wonder if that could change as he draws closer to free agency without an extension. He is free-agent eligible after the 2016 season, so the Marlins could still decide to keep him this winter even if they are unable to forge an extension with their positional star.