Giancarlo Stanton is a beast. For proof of that, you need look no farther than his home run Monday night against the Cubs:
I mean... holy... that's about as strong a major-leaguer as there is. I don't think anyone else in baseball could do something like that.
Stanton has been the subject of off-and-on trade rumors for the last couple of years, because it's assumed the Marlins don't have the money to sign him to a long-term contract. Stanton is making $6.5 million this year, and can't be a free agent until after the 2016 season. The Marlins find themselves suddenly in contention this year, and a large part of that is Stanton's MVP-type season: .303/.399/.594 with a league-leading 19 home runs and 56 RBI through Monday's game.
Of course, if the Cubs could make a deal with the Marlins, Stanton would be a perfect fit in right field at Wrigley. After a couple of years held down by injury (and he hit 37 home runs in just 123 games in 2012), he appears healthy and is currently on pace for a 45-homer, 130-RBI season with a home park not particularly conducive to homers.
The Marlins might want to keep Stanton through this year to see if they can sneak into the wild-card game, or even a division title if the Braves or Nationals falter. But after this year, when Stanton is due for a much bigger payday -- at least twice what he's making this year, maybe more -- perhaps he'd be available for trade.
What would you give up for Stanton? Perhaps Jeff Samardzija might be worth offering (as part of a larger deal), though the Marlins might have the same signability issues with Shark as they do with Stanton.
This might shock you, but I'd give pretty much anyone in the organization other than Kris Bryant to the Marlins in a Stanton deal. Yes, anyone. Yes, Javier Baez, Albert Almora, C.J. Edwards, Arismendy Alcantara, Pierce Johnson, anyone other than Bryant.
Remember that Stanton is 24 years old! He's three months younger than Anthony Rizzo and four months older than Starlin Castro, so he's just in the right place to sign to a long-term deal where you'd get his best seasons. He has 136 career home runs! Next highest on the home-run list of active players 24 and under behind Stanton is Jason Heyward, who has 81. Rizzo has 53.
Want more? There are only two active players who hit more home runs in their first five seasons than Stanton: Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera. And only six others all-time have hit more in a similar span: Frank Robinson, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Horner and Joe DiMaggio. All but Horner are Hall of Famers; Pujols and Cabrera could be headed there, and remember we're not halfway through 2014! Stanton could wind up this year with over 160 career homers, which would leave just Robinson and Mathews above him on that list.
My point: We're talking a possible Hall of Fame talent, who has already proven his worth at the major-league level and is still quite young at 24. For that, I'd give up just about anyone. Further, it would be a real statement by this front office that they're going to go out and get top talent. The price of "just about anyone" is, I believe, a worthwhile way to use the farm system, if you can obtain a potential Hall of Famer.
What say you? Should the Cubs go all-out to try to acquire Stanton? I sure would.