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Report: Marlins have discussed Giancarlo Stanton trade with Red Sox, Cardinals, Phillies and Giants


MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Red Sox, Cardinals, Giants and Phillies have had preliminary talks with the Marlins regarding highly sought-after slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Talks aren’t expected to ramp up until the annual General Manager Meetings in Orlando next Monday, which of course means we’re due for a dozen or so new rumors between now and then.

Morosi points out that the Phillies are uniquely suited to take on the remainder of Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million contract, as they currently have a $6.35 million payroll heading into the 2018 season. The same can’t quite be said for the rest of the group: the Giants have nearly $167 million on the books for 2018, second only to the league-leading Dodgers, while the Red Sox rank fourth ($146.27 million) and the Cardinals rank sixth ($135.23 million). That said, Stanton can opt out of his contract following the 2020 season, at which point he’d only be due $77 million.

With plenty of room on their payroll and some high-profile prospects — and, to be fair, that counts for a lot here — a potential deal with the Phillies might appeal far more to the Marlins than it would to Stanton. Philadelphia is firmly entrenched in a rebuilding process and hasn’t been competitive in the playoffs for six straight years now. Whether the slugger exercises his full no-trade clause remains to be seen, but it certainly seems unlikely that he’d opt for a team that hasn’t surfaced above .500 since 2012.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.