Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: 5 Logical Landing Spots for the Marlins Superstar
Last week, it was reported that an ownership group headlined by New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter was given the green light to purchase the Miami Marlins from Jeffrey Loria. The Marlins sorely need a new owner given Loria’s infamous frugal ways, and hopefully Jeter and co. can lift the franchise to new heights.
However, it was also reported that the Jeter group may have interest in trading the team’s franchise player, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. Rather than attempt to build around Stanton and his massive contract, the Marlins for a bevy of prospects and attempt a full-on rebuild with a restocked farm system.
Stanton is currently in the third year of a massive 13-year, $325 million deal he signed with Miami a few years ago. Rather than paying Stanton that monstrous deal, the new ownership group could benefit from using monetary assets elsewhere as they settle in. The deal is also severely backloaded. He’s making $14.5 million this season, but that commitment jumps to $25 million next season.
Stanton passed waivers, which means the Marlins can still trade him before the waiver trade deadline hits on the last day of August.
While any team would love to have a player of Stanton’s incredible ability, there are some snags to a potential deal. The huge contract is one thing, but will teams be jumping over each other to commit that kind of money to a player with an injury history like Stanton’s? He has played in more than 123 games just once since 2011 due to a number of injuries.
Let’s say the Marlins do decide to trade Stanton after the season ends. Where will he wind up? We handicapped a few of the potential suitors for the slugger’s services.
Los Angeles Dodgers 2/1
It’s good to be the L.A. Dodgers right now. They currently hold baseball’s best record and are prohibitive favorites to win the World Series for the first time since 1988. They have a well-stocked farm system that essentially always makes them players in the trade market. They also have deeper pockets and a more creative front office than any other club in baseball.
L.A. checks all of the boxes of a potential Giancarlo Stanton suitor. Most teams will balk at footing a $300 million bill. Not the Dodgers. This season alone, the Dodgers are paying $114 million in salaries to players that are no longer on the roster. Read that again. Los Angeles is paying more in salary to players that aren’t playing for them than 11 teams’ total payrolls. The Braves, Marlins, Phillies, Twins, Pirates, White Sox, Reds, Diamondbacks, A’s, Padres, Rays and Brewers are paying less money for their teams than the Dodgers are for players that don’t play for them. It’s incredible.
So, yeah, they’re fine paying money. If the Dodgers agree to foot most (if not all) of Stanton’s remaining salary, that will also drive the price of prospects way down. The Marlins will be desperate to get out from under that contract. If they’re liberated of the salary completely, they won’t demand as much in return for their star player.
For all their talent, the Dodgers don’t really have any outfield spots on lockdown moving forward. Joc Pederson is still highly thought-of within the organization, but he when the team traded for Curtis Granderson. His development has been rather slow, and the team may consider moving him at some point.
Yasiel Puig has been resurgent this season, but his long-term future with the franchise remains unclear. Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor are looking like long-term players, but both also play premium infield positions in addition to spot-duty in the outfield.
Acquiring Stanton, who is from the L.A. area, would give the Dodgers an established star to plug into the middle of the lineup alongside cornerstones like Bellinger and Corey Seager. He’s still only 28 and is in the midst of his finest season to date.
The Dodgers are easy frontrunners to land Stanton. We obviously don’t know their interest level, but they have everything necessary to facilitate a deal. If Stanton is dealt, we think he’s most likely landing in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.
Atlanta Braves 5/1
What about the Marlins division rivals? One would imagine they would prefer to trade him elsewhere, but if the Braves offer the strongest package then the Marlins would be foolish to hold back.
Like the Dodgers, the Braves are well-stocked on the farm. They have the highest-rated farm system in all of baseball at this point, and some combination of prospects would surely be enough to pry Stanton from South Beach. Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Koby Allard, Luis Gohara and Sean Newcomb are just a few other names that could coax the Marlins into parting ways with their franchise cornerstone.
The Marlins shouldn’t let geography get in the way if the Braves come forward with the strongest offer. If they trade Stanton, they’re clearly doing so with an eye on the future rather than the present. If Stanton leads the Braves to glory as the Fish are rebuilding, so be it.
The Braves also have plenty of incentive to win now. They just opened a brand new ballpark, and they have the makings of a solid core already in place with the likes of Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson in the lineup on a daily basis. Adding a masher like Stanton would suddenly turn that lineup into quite the fearsome group. He’d also help sell plenty of tickets.
We think the Marlins would hesitate here, though, which obviously hurts the Braves’ chances of getting him.
New York Yankees 7/1
The Yankees attract star players, and they now have the kind of prospect capital it would take to get a guy like Stanton. They parted ways with a few key prospects in getting the likes of Sonny Gray, Jaime Garcia and others near the trade deadline, but most of their top prospects are still in the system. The Yanks have more than enough ammo to acquire a big gun like Giancarlo Stanton.
They’re also the Yankees, so they can afford to pay him his absurd contract. On the flip side, there’s plenty of season to believe the Yanks may have their eyes on guys like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, who will be free agents after next season. Committing huge money to Stanton would likely take them out of the running for guys like Machado and Harper.
So, that’s a road block. Stanton is electrifying, but he’s also several years older than Machado and Harper. One would imagine even the Yankees don’t want to have a pair of $300-plus million deals on the books. The Braves, on the other hand, are essentially a clean slate money-wise. So, New York takes a bit of a backseat to them here.
Los Angeles Angels 20/1
Stanton’s hometown of Sherman Oaks is closer to Dodger Stadium than Angel Stadium, but it’s Southern California all the same. Unfortunately for the Angels, they are no strangers to hefty, cumbersome contracts. The team is currently paying an aging Albert Pujols about a zillion years on an annual basis in perpetuity, while they are also still paying Josh Hamilton and CJ Wilson.
Hamilton, who isn’t playing anywhere at the moment, is finally set to come off the books after this season. While Pujols will still be around, that still frees up quite a bit of money for the Halos to spend.
The Angels’ top priority needs to be adding talent around Mike Trout, who is obviously the best player on the planet. Trout is under contract for a few more years, and some have wondered whether it would be in the Angels’ best long-term interests to part ways with their star in order to reload the farm system. Anaheim is currently in the midst of a playoff race, which likely has the front office believing there’s a way to build a contender around Trout immediately.
Unfortunately, they don’t have much by way of prospects that would intrigue the Marlins to offload Stanton. The Angels have one of the worst farm systems in all of baseball, so they would probably have to eat Stanton’s entire contract just to get the Marlins to listen. Without including Trout in a deal, it’s tough to imagine Miami not hanging up the phone almost immediately here.
Houston Astros 50/1
The Astros are an interesting case. They’re well-stocked with young talent on the big league roster as well as in the minor league system. They were the best team in baseball this season until the Dodgers caught fire. Houston is still the odds-on favorite to represent the American League in the World Series.
However, Houston’s flaws are primarily on the pitching side. They appear to have more than enough quality bats in place to make a run. They just need to add a top-of-the-line starter to the rotation in order to be truly frightening come October. Stanton, obviously, is not a pitcher.
Still, they currently don’t have any big, long-term deals on the books. They’ll have to pay Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve in a few years, but in the meantime, their highest-paid player is Brian McCann, who makes about $17 million a year. They don’t have a huge payroll, which means Jim Crane could stand to take on some more money.
If the Astros want to fortify that potent lineup, adding a thunderous bat like Stanton would sure look like a lot of fun on paper. GM Jeff Lunhow has been , though, which could make a path toward a deal quite difficult.
The Astros are longshots here. We’re really only listing them because they have the kinds of players the Marlins would want in any Stanton deal.