Giancarlo Stanton kept the conversation about baseball on Friday afternoon.

Even though the buzz surrounding the Marlins was focused on larger matters.

“Happy first day back,” said Stanton, when asked about his reaction to the recent reports of owner Jeffrey Loria potentially selling the franchise in the near future.

It shouldn’t be hard for Stanton to not let the rumors become a distraction heading into spring training, which begins next week in Jupiter.

Not after dealing with the emotional toll the end of last season took on the Marlins following the tragic death of ace Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident.

Pressing on without Fernandez is the next challenge Stanton said the team will have to face together.

“His locker won’t be there,” Stanton said. “His smile won’t be there or the energy he brought. It’s another thing we’ll have to go through together.”

On Friday afternoon during the club’s media luncheon at the Miami Marriott hotel near Biscayne Bay, nine of the Marlins, including Stanton, wore the white jerseys they will wear this season.

A black circle patch with Fernandez’s No. 16 in white was stitched on the front on the left side of their chests near their hearts.