Giancarlo Stanton – Baseball’s Most Sought After Man
by Marc Keller | Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2013
How is a player with a .182 AVG, 0 HR, 0 RBI, and a .600 OPS, the most sought after man in all of Major League Baseball? Because before this season, this player's season averages were .268 AVG, 39 HR, 98 RBI, and .895 OPS; all at the ripe age of 23 and making a generous $537,000 salary. This player is Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. There is no doubt that Stanton is under-achieving and off to a rough start, but that still doesn't cloud the fact that come baseball’s trade deadline on July 31st, all of baseball will have their eyes on the Miami area code. Whoever there phone carrier is, they better get the back-up to the back-up switch board ready, because the Marlins phones will be ringing constantly from teams wanting to inquire about Stanton.
Acquiring Stanton from the Marlins won't come cheaply. His contract is very team friendly for this season, however this is the last year of his current contract and he is eligible for salary arbitration after this season. He will most definitely command a lot in arbitration, I'm guessing somewhere between $12-15 million. But if the Marlins do want to hold onto Stanton for next season, they can do so because they have no real significant salary commitments. The Marlins are a young team and could use a good, stable bat in the middle of their lineup. If they truly believe the talent is there to win relatively soon, they could conceivably keep Stanton and just take him to arbitration until he finally becomes a free agent in 2017, and trade him just before then if they aren't winning. But knowing the Marlins, it's unlikely that they keep Stanton pass this season's trade deadline.
So what is it going to take to acquire Stanton from the Marlins? To acquire a player of Stanton's skill-set, and especially at his age, it is going to take a huge package of elite prospects with at least one or two of them either being at or near major league ready. I also feel whoever trades for Stanton will do so with the intentions of signing him to a long term deal. You wouldn't give up multiple elite prospects for a one or two year rental of Stanton, so you can bet that the major-market teams will all be in on Stanton come the trading deadline. So let's play GM and mock out some trade proposals for Stanton.
Trade proposals – The obvious choices
Trade – Stanton to the Texas Rangers for SS Jurickson Profar, SP Martin Perez, 3B Joey Gallo
Analysis – Profar is arguably the best prospect in all the MLB baseball and a star in the making. He's a 20/20 guy at the SS position, and players like Profar are hard to come by. With the Rangers signing current SS Elvis Andrus to an 8-year extension and current 2B Ian Kinsler showing no signs of willingness to move to 1B or a corner OF position, Profar's path to the major is blocked for now. Netting Profar, along with Perez who has a ceiling of a #3 starter and Gallo you could be a serviceable 3B, would be a great haul for the Marlins.
Trade - Stanton to the Boston Red Sox for OF Jackie Bradley, SP Allen Webster, and SS Jose Iglesias
Analysis - This would be a good haul for the Marlins in that each one of these prospects is major league ready now, or if not now definitely next year. Bradley has shown his struggles in his first stint in the majors, but all signs point to him having the tools to be a good corner OF in the majors. Webster would be the key prize of the deal, as he can be a front-line starter in the rotation. Iglesias is a defensive-minded SS, and sometimes that just all you need to be for that position.
Trade - Stanton to the New York Mets for SP Zack Wheeler and C Travis d'Arnaud
Analysis - This trade has actually been rumored, and I would do it if I were the Mets. When you are running out an OF consisting of Lucas Duda, Collin Cowgill, and Marlon Byrd, adding Stanton would be a major upgrade. Additionally, playing in NY were its all Yankees all the time, they have to do something in order to stay relevant and steal some back-page headlines. Getting Stanton would definitely turn some heads and make New Yorkers take notice of the Mets. For the Marlins, you are getting two very solid starters who are ready now to play in the majors.
Trade - Stanton to the Detroit Tigers for SP Drew Smyly, 3B/OF Nick Castellanos, and RP Bruce Rondon
Analysis - The Marlins and the Tigers have plenty of trade history together. They have been trade partners on two big trades in the past. A few seasons ago, the Marlins traded triple-crown winner Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers for a package of prospects, and just last season the Marlins traded SP Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante to the Tigers for prospects. Since the Tigers do have a direct line to the Marlins, you can't rule them out. The Marlins would be getting back a quality SP in Smyly, a highly-regarded 3B in Castellanos, and a hard-throwing future closer in Rondon.
Trade - Stanton to the New York Yankees for C Gary Sanchez, OF Slade Heathcott, and SP Manny Banuelos
Analysis - If the Yankees aren't careful, in two years they could realistically be fielding a team feature Robinson Cano and a bunch of 4A players. The Yankees don't have the elite prospects the Marlins may command, and this is probably the best package of prospects the Yanks could offer. But let's be real, why would the Yankees even trade their best prospects to the Marlins for Stanton when they can just sign him as a free agent after the 2017 season. By then, the prospects mentioned in the trade above will probably be at the major league level and Stanton would be the perfect bat to complement them.
Trade Proposals - The Wild Cards
Trade - Stanton to the Tampa Bay Rays for OF Wil Myers and SP Alex Cobb
Analysis - With the AL East being as tough of a division as it is, it is conceivable that all four teams could be within a few games of each other for the division title. If that is the case, someone will have to make a move that separates themselves from the herd. Enter Stanton into the mix. The Rays have a lot of SP in their farm system. They could afford to part with Cobb, who is pitching quite nicely this season as the Rays #4 starter, and his ceiling doesn't stop there. And Myers has the tools to be a star in the majors.
Trade - Stanton to the Pittsburgh Pirates for SP Gerrit Cole and OF Starling Marte
Analysis - I doubt the Pirates actually would do this trade because it would take an awfully good player to pry Cole from their system and I doubt the Pirates would be able to sign Stanton to a long term deal. But the question is, how badly do you want to make the playoffs? When you hold the longest playoff drought in MLB baseball, I imagine it's pretty bad. If the Pirates are sitting there at the trade deadline, either 2-3 games ahead or behind in the playoff or division race, do they make the call?
Trade - Stanton to the Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Tyler Skaggs, 3B Matt Davidson, and SS Chris Owings
Analysis - The D-backs wouldn't be in the market for a RF if they would’ve just held onto the one they had before, but such is life. Currently, Skaggs, Davidson, and Owings seem to be positioned blocked. Why not flip them for a budding star? The D-Backs have plenty of young SP currently in their rotation, so Skaggs could be somewhat expendable for the right player. Skaggs has all the makings of being an ace or very good #2 starter, someone the Marlins would be very interested in acquiring.