I haven’t written much — actually, nothing — about the curious dance Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins have made with various teams since Derek Jeter’s ownership group in Miami basically told him if he didn’t accept a trade he’d be the best player on a stripped-down team.
The reason I’ve mostly ignored this is that it appeared that the Giants and Cardinals were the two teams in the running for Stanton’s services; the Giants and Marlins apparently even had a framework of a deal in place, presuming the Giants would take $250 million of the $295 million remaining on Stanton’s contract.
So why am I writing about this now? This is why:
On Thursday night, MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal reported Stanton is electing not to accept proposed deals to those two teams, both of which had previously worked out trade frameworks with Miami.
The report added Stanton would consider trades to the Dodgers or Yankees. Another report, from Craig Mish of SiriusXM, added the Cubs and Astros to the list of Stanton's preferred destinations. Thus, what's next for the slugger promises to be one of the top stories of the Winter Meetings, which begin on Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Neither the Marlins or anyone who represents Stanton has confirmed the report.
You’ll note that the four teams mentioned above are the four LCS teams from 2017. Whether that’s coincidental or by design is unknown.
Obviously, acquiring Stanton would put a huge bat in the middle of the Cubs lineup. It would also put a huge amount of money on the payroll — in 2018, for example, Stanton is owed $25 million. Based on his 2017 performance, he’s certainly worth it.
The Marlins don’t appear to care that much about who they get in return for Stanton. They began the process of stripping the payroll Thursday when they sent Dee Gordon (and some international bonus pool money) to the Mariners. The Giants’ offer, noted above, reportedly would have sent the following prospects to Miami: righthanded pitcher Tyler Beede, outfielder Heliot Ramos, infielder Christian Arroyo and first baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw. Another report had Beede, Shaw and second baseman Joe Panik going to the Marlins.
I don’t know much about those prospects. Of the players listed above, only Arroyo and Panik have played in the big leagues. I’m not sure who in the Cubs system would equate to those prospects.
Can the Cubs afford to add that much payroll? Would you make such a deal? If so, who would you include as the return to the Marlins?
Interestingly, though Stanton has homered 13 times against Cubs pitching, just two of those were at Wrigley Field — so long ago that he was still being called “Mike” back then. They both came in the same game, July 16, 2011, both off Carlos Zambrano, both to the opposite field:
If the Cubs can make this deal, soon Stanton could take aim at the left-field video board at Wrigley.