At this point, the odds of Giancarlo Stanton still being a Miami Marlin in 2018 are not high at all, though he is not a free agent. Despite being fresh off one of the most powerful seasons by a hitter in MLB history, the sentiment is apparently shared between Stanton and the Marlins.
Stanton wants to help a team to a World Series, something that is simply not plausible right now with Miami’s lack of depth. The Marlins’ new ownership, led by Derek Jeter, is looking to replenish the team’s farm system (which currently leaves a lot to be desired) and relieve the stress that Stanton’s contract puts on their finances. Miami is shopping Stanton to the highest bidder, and MLB.com reports that there is much interest.
There is one very large obstacle standing in the way of any team looking to wheel and deal for the super slugger. Giancarlo Stanton signed a 13-year deal three years ago this week worth $325 million, making him the most expensive player in the history of professional team sports, a fact that I’m sure angers Alex Rodriguez greatly. Whatever team that wants Stanton will not only have to offer Miami one doozy of a return package, but also have the financial ability to assume that massive contract on its bankroll. It’s proved to be a difficult task in the past and stopped A-Rod from going to the Red Sox in 2003.
With that being said, Stanton is still being heavily courted. It has been known for some time that the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are both in deep, but JP Morosi of MLB.com has stated that the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox have also inquired. That makes for a very interesting quartet.
Of those four, the Red Sox are the only team that was consistently competitive in 2017, as the Cards and Giants struggled with injuries and Philly was rebuilding. While that may make it seem as if Boston would be the most appealing location for Stanton, the team has a hefty payroll of its own, mostly because of David Price’s contract, which is the most expensive in baseball history for a pitcher. That combined with the team’s farm being relatively depleted makes it complicated for Boston.
The team that Miami is reportedly most interested in doing business with is St. Louis. Scott Polacek of the Bleacher Report tells that Redbird pitching prospects Alex Reyes, Sandy Alcantara and Jack Flaherty are sought after by the Fish. Seeing as Miami lacks pitching in a big way, it makes sense.
As for the Giants and Phillies, it seems more far-fetched. The Giants are coming off a dreadful year that saw Madison Bumgarner lost and the rest of the team struggling as a result. Buster Posey had a reliably good season, but that’s about it. The Phillies are still in the process of rebuilding and lack prime, proven talent. Both teams possess prospects that could fit well in trades, but Stanton going out west or donning red pinstripes next year is unlikely.
Stanton’s contract includes a no-trade clause that he will obviously have to waive. It also features an opt-out option that he can exercise after he turns 30 in 2019. Those two caveats could sway potential suitors, but that hasn’t been the case yet. A negotiating advantage for any asking team is the amount of money involved. Assumption of Stanton’s contract could be a bargaining chip to land another piece besides him.
Of these four teams, which do you think has the best chance of landing the hulking power-hitter? Let me know on Twitter at @Flat_Manigen74 and let the rest of the guys know at @HomeRunDaily.