Sorry about the absence, but used some vacation time, covered the Sugar Bowl, and watched with detached amusement as the Giancarlo Stanton trade rumors swirled about. The Marlins are not shopping Stanton. They are not dangling him like the carrot at the end of a stick. They are not floating his name to other teams.

Simply put, the Marlins "are not moving him," according to a source I spoke with. They haven't even "discussed" it internally. The team's plans calling for Stanton to start the season with the club and occupy the clean-up spot have "not changed at all," according to another source with knowledge of the Marlins' intentions.

And yet the speculation continues. The latest report indicates the Marlins have spoken to the Padres about Stanton. "Completely off base" and "totally ridiculous" was the response I received when I asked about it.

Teams contact the Marlins about Stanton all the time. The Marlins, out of professional courtesy, don't hang up on them. They "listen," as they do with all inquiries involving any of their players. But listening is not the same as "contemplating," and the Marlins -- at least for now -- are not entertaining any thoughts of trading their slugger.