Marlins like Prado's presence, now and for 2016

Marlins like Prado's presence, now and for 2016

WASHINGTON -- The Marlins are not where they'd like to be in the standings, but there are some veteran leaders on the club who are helping steer the young players in the right direction.

Martin Prado, signed through next season, is one of the few core players with a long track record. Miami has made it clear to other teams the third baseman is not a trade piece.

Barring something unforeseen in the offseason, Prado is again expected to handle the hot corner in 2016. Prado has been a stabilizing voice in the clubhouse, along with Ichiro Suzuki, Jeff Mathis and Casey McGehee. But Ichiro, Mathis and McGehee are not under contract for next year.

"When you look in that clubhouse now with Ichiro there, Martin there, Mathis there, McGehee there, those are really our guys who are the senior members now," manager Dan Jennings said. "They are directing, they're leading. They've had team dinners and have had some things together that are great for building a foundation and get that to carry into the offseason and into next year."

The Marlins have maintained they intend to retain their core, at least their regular position players. There may end up being a change or two, but the franchise is building around three-time All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (broken left hand), who could be reinstated from the disabled list as early as Friday against the Mets at Marlins Park.

Of their core, Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto are all 25 or younger. Prado, 31, is the oldest everyday starter.

The Marlins are interested in bringing back Ichiro, and they are taking a wait-and-see approach on McGehee and Mathis.

For the final weeks, the veterans are continuing to set an example.

"The veteran guys that are here are providing exactly what we were hoping we'd get when Spring Training began," Jennings said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.