Giancarlo Stanton appears to be in a good place, and yes, he's still very much a Miami Marlin. He's hitting, he's smiling broadly and constantly, and most importantly, he likes where he is.

"There's a good vibe here," Stanton says, before adding, "and I'd say so if it wasn't."

Umm, yes, we knew that last part.

It won't soon be forgotten that Stanton, the Marlins' slugging wunderkind who's still only 24, sent off perhaps the punchiest six-word tweet in baseball history a winter ago, when after the trade of seemingly half the team (as well as most of its payroll), the almost always upbeat Stanton tweeted, "Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple."

Things aren't quite as simple here a year later, as the Marlins, still young and lean, are making a little noise in the Grapefruit League (and in Panama, where they no-hit the Yankees). All of their young pitching is getting folks excited around here. (Given that everyone else in the division is suffering from pitching woes, no less than former Marlins manager/current Marlins ambassador Jack McKeon said he could even see this team slip into second place. Maybe.)

Better yet, Stanton is among those taking note of the possibilities here.

But let's not get crazy. Not yet. While the Marlins do have interest in trying to lock up Stanton to a long-term deal (assuming they could somehow scrape together the scratch), Stanton, being a veteran of the ups and downs of the big leagues in a small and turbulent market, isn't rushing into anything.

Before making the plunge, Stanton very respectfully admitted in the interview here that he'd "need a season" seeing the team before contemplating locking himself into anything long term. Can't blame him there.

And actually, the Marlins, while signing Stanton to a generous first-year arbitration-eligible salary of $6.5 million, more than a ten-fold raise from $537,000 the year before following a largely disappointing season in which he hit .249 with 24 home runs, sent out a feeler about a possible long-term deal though agent Joel Wolfe. However, Stanton wasn't quite ready to commit, and he said so. As he said, he needs to see a season.