As you know, the Marlins under new ownership are seeking to shed payroll, and to that end they're also looking to trade slugger Giancarlo Stanton and his mega-contract. What makes Stanton an appealing trade target is that coming off an age-27 season in which he mashed 59 home runs and wound up as a finalist for NL MVP honors. What complicates all that is that, if he doesn't exercise his opt-out after the 2020 season, he's still owed almost $300 million.
We learned recently that Red Sox and Cardinals. Specifically, here's this from Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald:and have held at least cursory talks with the Marlins. That number jumped to at the start of the GM Meetings in Orlando. Stanton, though, has a full no-trade clause, which means that he'll have to approve any trade the club is able to hammer out. His stated preference is to play on the West Coast (he's a Southern California native), and that's bad news for a number of teams linked to him, specifically the
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 rumors. Perhaps there's some flexibility in that stance, but Stanton's preference is a factor.
So that's bad news for the Red Sox and Cardinals. There have been conflicting reports about Boston's level of interest, but the Cardinals have been the presumed frontrunner in recent days. Consider this report a blow to their chances.
The Giants are also said to be heavily in on Stanton, and they obviously meet the West Coast criterion. Also, it seems the Giants and Marlins are getting into specifics in their talks:
Obviously, Heliot Ramos is not a name that's going to set the hearts of Marlins fans aflutter, but it's surely just a small part of ongoing discussions. Speaking of which, this seems relevant:
Some rival execs view the Marlins' prospect asking price for Giancarlo Stanton as shockingly high and somewhat out of touch with reality, and not discounted nearly enough given the whopping $295 million he's owed (with the forthcoming out clause after the 2020 season).— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 14, 2017
This is pretty standard stuff. Teams on all sides tend to overbid in early talks, so any pearl-clutching on the part of "rival execs" is likely just an attempt to sway negotiations through the media. Still, though, the Marlins probably aren't going to be in a position to get any kind of "shockingly high" return for Stanton. First, few teams are willing to take on a contract of these dimensions, even if some salary relief is going to be along for the ride. Second, and as detailed, Stanton has right of refusal, and that's going to further whittle down the list of viable trading partners. As such, the Marlins are going to have to kick in some cash in order to make any deal happen, and if they want any kind of needle-moving prospects coming back then they're going to need to kick in a lot of cash.
Because of Stanton's contract and his control over the process, there's just not going to be enough realistic landing spots to drive up the price to said shockingly high levels. This is also subject to change on a dime, of course, but Tuesday's developments seem to be favorable toward the Giants.