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.
We’re entering what is typically one of the slowest news weeks in the baseball calendar. Occasionally some big free agents sign around now. For example, it was 20 years ago today Andres Galarraga signed with the Braves, and I still remember being in an airport on the way home to visit my parents when I heard the news. I’m an old man.
The biggest news that is likely to happen this offseason is Giancarlo Stanton being traded. That hasn’t happened yet, but here are the latest bits of news on that:
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cardinals have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins for Stanton. No word what they’re offering, but the clubs have been in discussion for some time and it has been reported that the Marlins are the most interested in doing a deal with St. Louis due to the prospects they could send to Miami. There is a sense, however, that Stanton would be hesitant to approve a trade to the Cardinals because he prefers to play on the West Coast;
The Giants play on the west coast, and over the weekend they were reported to be the “most aggressive team” in trade talks for Stanton at the moment. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have likewise made an offer. Their farm system is nowhere near as stocked as that of the Cardinals, so it’s unclear whether they have the prospects to make Miami happy. They could, of course, eat a lot of Stanton’s $295 million contract to make up for that, of course, but (a) doing so would put them over the luxury tax; and (b) the Marlins no doubt want to spur a rebuild with a Stanton trade, so if they can’t get some blue chip prospects back in return, what’s the point?
UPDATE: Who knows if this is anywhere close to enough — I’m guessing not — but this is what the Giants reportedly have on the table:
Anyway, that’s where we are as we begin Thanksgiving week.