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Report: Giants, Cardinals, and Phillies were most aggressive in pursuit of Giancarlo Stanton this summer

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In a recent column for FanRag Sports, Jon Heyman reports that the Giants, Cardinals, and Phillies were the “most aggressive” in pursuit of Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton this summer. Stanton, of course stayed put, but this remains relevant because the Marlins are expected to hold another firesale under new ownership. Stanton, as well as Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and J.T. Realmuto could be traded, Heyman notes.

Stanton, 27, fell just shy of 60 home runs this past season, finishing with a major league-best 59 dingers and 132 RBI while slashing .281/.376/.631 in 692 plate appearances. It marked only the sixth season out of eight in which he was able to cross the 600-PA threshold. That, and Stanton’s massive 13-year, $325 million contract (of which $295 million and 10 years remain) hampers Stanton’s trade value a bit.

According to Heyman, Stanton places a high priority on winning now, which might make the Cardinals and some other teams on the periphery like the Dodgers and Red Sox a better fit than the Phillies, Giants, and some others.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.