Even before claiming the hardware, Stanton had been a fixture in the news cycle. The Marlins' new owners intend to shed payroll, and trading Stanton -- affixed with a contract that could pay him at least $295 million through the 2027 season -- represents the easiest solution.
It should go without saying that every team desires a talent like Stanton. It should also go without saying that not every team can afford Stanton himself -- either due to financial or prospect limitations. As such, we've decided to try to rank teams according to their perceived likelihood of employing Stanton come Opening Day 2018.
Keep in mind, this is more art than science, and more for fun and giggles than anything else. With that said, let's get to our rankings.
30. Tampa Bay Rays: Should Stanton get traded, it won't be within the state of Florida. Put another way, the Rays are willing to put up, oh, about half of Stanton's contract in pursuit of a new stadium.
28. Oakland Athletics: David Forst and company are reportedly interested in the Marlins' other outfielders -- Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich -- but there's good reason Stanton's name hasn't been included in those murmurs: They can't afford him.
27. Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have one massive contract in tow with Joey Votto's blockbuster. They almost certainly would not welcome another.
26. Chicago White Sox: Rick Hahn just started the White Sox down the rebuilding path. There's no reason to think he would cash in his chips at this point -- not if it means taking on a massive salary commitment.
25. Milwaukee Brewers: It would be fun to see the Brewers add Stanton to an outfield that already boasts Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana. But the Brewers have limited funds and a ton of outfield depth; if they're going to throw cash around, it'll be at a front-line starter.
23. New York Mets: C'mon.
22. Baltimore Orioles: Dan Duquette has made some blockbuster trades in his day. These Orioles don't have the talent or money reserves to land Stanton, however.
21. Kansas City Royals: Obviously the Royals' ongoing exodus frees up cash. But it doesn't make a lot of sense at this point in Kansas City's competitive cycle to go all out for Stanton -- besides, it's unclear if they have the talent to make a deal.
20. Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks are coming off a better-than-expected season, and they've made surprise splashes in the past -- remember the Zack Greinke signing that came out of left field? Even so, Stanton seems unlikely.
19. San Diego Padres: We're putting the Padres a slot higher than the Diamondbacks because A.J. Preller is a wee bit unpredictable.
18. Detroit Tigers: The Tigers could probably afford to absorb Stanton's contract. They're in rebuild mode, though, and so it's not going to happen.
17. Seattle Mariners: Jerry Dipoto loves to wheel and deal. The Mariners certainly have the need for another impact-level talent. It just doesn't seem like he has the prospects or payroll flexibility to meet the Marlins' demands.
16. Minnesota Twins: Minnesota is supposedly interested in making a splash ... on the pitching side of things. Stanton is probably too rich for their blood anyway.
15. Toronto Blue Jays: Mark Shapiro reportedly chewed out Alex Anthopoulos for trading prospects for high-priced veterans like Troy Tulowitzki. Predictably, the Blue Jays seem more keen on keeping an efficient payroll in the Ross Atkins era -- that means no Stanton.
14. Cleveland Indians: Shapiro's descendants in Cleveland have shown a greater willingness to make a bold move. Yet they're probably about strapped, as far as payroll goes.
13. Atlanta Braves: By most accounts, the Braves have one of the better farm systems in baseball. They should have some financial breathing room, too, given their new stadium. Still, Anthopoulos isn't likely to go all-in for Stanton at this juncture.
12. Washington Nationals: Mike Rizzo has never been afraid of making a big trade, and adding Stanton would help offset the expected loss of pending free agent Bryce Harper. Realistically? It ain't happening.
11. Colorado Rockies: It would be fun to see Stanton play 81 games in Coors Field every year. Alas, it'll have to remain little more than a daydream.
10. Texas Rangers: Jon Daniels has so much to address on the pitching side of things that it seems improbable he would spare resources for an outfielder -- even a great one, like Stanton.
9. Houston Astros: Imagine the World Series champions combining the reigning AL and NL MVPs. Jeff Luhnow has shown he's willing to be bold. The Astros just took on the big contract of Justin Verlander in August, and it seems unlikely they would add another massive deal so soon.
8. Philadelphia Phillies: There's some logic to the idea the Phillies should kickstart their new era by flexing their financial and prospect might. Maybe around this time next year they will. Right now? Doesn't seem likely.
7. Chicago Cubs: You figure the Cubs will reach out to the Marlins, because why not? But the farm system has been drained and the Cubs might be waiting for the aforementioned Harper to hit the open market.
6. Miami Marlins: You could argue the Marlins should be higher, if only because a Stanton trade is going to be complicated no matter who the Marlins end up doing business with, and that makes it more likely that any prospective deal falls through -- remember, both sides have to work out an agreement with regards to finances and players, and then Stanton has to sign off on any deal. We're guessing Stanton gets dealt -- that's why Miami is only sixth -- but it might have to come on a second or third attempt.
5. San Francisco Giants: The Giants have been named as the most aggressive team in pursuit of Stanton. They have the weakest farm system of any team listed this highly, with teenage outfielder Heliot Ramos being named as the potential top piece in any deal. Maybe the plan is to take on more money than anyone else is willing to take on?
On a related note, thefor Stanton, with other teams to follow.
4. New York Yankees: Brian Cashman is one of the best general managers in baseball, and his transformation of the Yankees from an old, capped-out bunch into an exciting young squad has been masterful. Plugging in Stanton alongside Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez is alluring. We're just not convinced he would part with the prospects and financial freedom to make it happen.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers: Historically, you can't go wrong betting against Andrew Friedman trading away his top prospects. The Dodgers also have to worry about extending Clayton Kershaw, and, eventually, keeping Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger in town. There's also the whole matter of whether the Dodgers want to retain Yu Darvish. Los Angeles is this high because it is loaded with young players and money -- we're just guessing the Dodgers finish second or third in the Stanton derby for the reasons listed above. The wild card here is that Stanton won't accept a trade elsewhere. Who knows how likely that scenario is to play out.
2. St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals seem well-positioned to make a big move. They have added financial breathing room thanks to a television deal signed a few years back, as well as a number of talented young starters to offer up. Heck, the Cardinals could even give the Marlins someone like Harrison Bader or Stephen Piscotty to plug into their outfield hole as a second or third piece in a potential trade.
1. Boston Red Sox: It's probably too simplistic to say Dave Dombrowski usually gets who he wants, and it's probably overzealous to think the Red Sox can get Stanton without sacrificing part of their big-league roster -- or that the Red Sox can coerce Stanton into accepting a trade to Boston ( , which is second on our list, as well). But, hey, no executive seems more likely to go down swinging on a Stanton deal than Dombrowski, so we're slotting Boston in here at No. 1.