As if the monster trade that went down this week between the Marlins and Blue Jays wasn’t enough of a fire sale for Miami, we got wind the team isn’t done dealing, as Logan Morrison and Ricky Nolasco are also on the block. Bud Selig hasn’t approved the mega-deal yet, but it doesn’t look like he’ll block it despite not being happy about it. This is just a very sad turn of events for a team that spent a helluva lot of money last year to try and compete, and it crashed and burned. Although I felt their logic was flawed from the beginning, it’s tough to see fans suffer like that…as we know all too well. The only player deemed “untouchable” on the Marlins is outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, and I’m sure at this point, he wishes he wasn’t. So, I wanted to ask the question…wouldn’t trading for this slugger be freakin’ awesome?
Once hearing teammates Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio, and Mark Buehrle were close to getting their ticket out of town, Stanton voiced his frustration on twitter, saying “Alright, I’m pissed off! Plain & simple.”Anyone with a pulse feels for this guy, who saw great potential for his team within the next couple seasons with all of these solid teammates surrounding him on the field. Now, it’s just him out there, hoping these prospects will outperform their expectations and take the Marlins out of the NL East basement, let alone being successful.
Just like no one can blame Stanton for being upset about this deal, no one can discount the potential he has to be one of the game’s premier power hitters…if he’s not one already. Standing at an intimidating 6’5″ and 245 lbs, he’s already put together three straight 20-HR seasons in his first three seasons in the Big Leagues (two consecutive 30-HR seasons) and earned his first All-Star selection in 2012. Despite playing only 123 games this season due to injury (150 GP in 2011), he had his best year to date, hitting .290/.361/.608 with 37 homers, 86 RBI, 30 doubles, and 75 runs scored, while compiling an offensive WAR of 5.4. Early in the season, he shared his desire to continually improve and become an all-around good hitter, and he’s certainly proven he has the ability to do so.
Like I mentioned before, the Marlins have said Stanton is untouchable, but why? Fans in Miami are already not going to the ballpark (18th in MLB for 2012 attendance), and now that they’ve traded away most of the players that would draw fans to games, do they really think holding onto Giancarlo will help? Plus, he’s arbitration-eligible in 2014, and if he has another 30-HR season (which he probably will), he will be commanding a contract much higher than the league minimum,which he currently makes. So, since there is basically no chance Miami will be competitive in 2013 (although you never know), they might as well trade Stanton now.
This kind of hitter is very rare, and he just so happens to be on a team willing to dump any players that are currently or will shortly be costing them a lot of money. If teams don’t inquire about Stanton, then they’re not being prudent. For the Mets, this is the kind of player I would give up Jonathon Niese or Ike Davis for. When talking about acquiring Jarrod Saltalamacchia, I said it wouldn’t make sense to swap him with Ike because it would be a lateral move for New York. It would be much of the same here if the teams traded these two in regards to power, but it’s clear Stanton can bring more to the table than Salty ever would.
If I were Sandy Alderson and I had this opportunity to make this deal, I would first offer a package of minor leaguers, but if they wanted MLB talent under team control, I would offer up Niese, Lucas Duda, and any minor leaguer not name Zack Wheeler. Judging from the deal with the Blue Jays (where they gained 32 years of team control with players), those that are under team control for the foreseeable future are what the Marlins desire.
So, this would be the longest of long-shots, but just thinking about acquiring a 40+ homer threat for a corner outfield spot without giving up the farm is just awesome to think about. What would you offer the Marlins to pry Stanton from their grasp?