- Giancarlo Stanton is coming off a career season, but the Marlins plan to trade him anyway.
- The right fielder will reportedly use his no-trade clause to block any potential deal that would land him with the Boston Red Sox or St. Louis Cardinals.
- Other teams with reported interest include the Giants, Phillies, and Dodgers.
Just two weeks into the MLB offseason, teams have already started to jockey for position to acquire one of the biggest prizes on the trade market: the Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported from the winter GM meetings that the Marlins have been “encouraged” by initial talks. As many as seven teams are reportedly interested, including the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants, clubs that have been linked to the slugger for weeks.
While a number of teams would love to add Stanton, getting a deal done won’t easy. Depending on whether or not he chooses to exercise his opt-out clause, the 28-year-old could have as many as 11 years remaining on his 13-year, $US325 million contract, and he also has a full no-trade clause.
Sure enough, the first potential roadblock to dealing Stanton has already surfaced. According to Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald:
“A baseball source said yesterday that he’s been told Stanton will not accept a trade to either the Red Sox or the Cardinals, another team linked early and often in trade rumours. Perhaps there’s some flexibility in that stance, but Stanton’s preference is a factor.”
Stanton, a Southern California native, has expressed a desire to play on the West Coast in the past, so it would appear that the Giants have the inside track (they have already discussed including outfield prospect Heliot Ramos as part of a trade). The Los Angeles Dodgers are another potential fit. The reigning National League pennant winners have a talented and deep outfield contingent, On Tuesday night, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweeted that they “are indeed in the mix” for Stanton.
After missing 131 games between 2015 and 2016, he appeared in almost every game this year, making a memorable run at the 60-home run plateau before falling just short at 59.
He ended the season with 7.6 Wins Above Replacement, tops among NL position players. He was listed as one of the league’s three MVP finalists and will likely get the award over Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto when the winner is announced on Thursday night.
Stanton is the kind of player that any executive would like to have, but the Marlins are under a new ownership group, headlined by Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman, that wants a clean break from the old regime. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported in September that the new owners want to slash the payroll by more than $US60 million.
While trade discussions are ongoing, Buster Olney of ESPN recently tweeted that some executives see Miami’s asking price as “shockingly high and somewhat out of touch with reality.” It seems the Marlins will be able to get a either a big prospect haul or some salary relief, but not both. No matter how talks progress from here, expect more information to leak out over the next few weeks.
Trade talks may escalate at MLB’s Baseball Winter Meetings, set to kick off on December 10.
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