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The Giancarlo Stanton feeding frenzy is about to begin

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Giancarlo Stanton hit his 50th home run of the season yesterday and, at age 27, is putting up a career year, leading the league in homers, RBI, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+. He’s always had tremendous power and tremendous promise. It’s amazing what health will do when thrown into the mix. At the same time, Stanton plays for the Miami Marlins who are in the process of being sold and will soon have a new baseball operations group who may not think that devoting close to $300 million to one player is a great idea.

There are pros and cons to keeping or trading Stanton away, but all of baseball is watching Stanton rake and, if he does become available, there are going to be a a boat load of teams with an interest in him. Some, Bob Nightengale reports, have already called:

The San Francisco Giants recently called, and privately informed the Miami Marlins of their interest. So have the St. Louis Cardinals. The Texas Rangers. The Philadelphia Phillies didn’t want to be left out, either. They all have one thing in mind. They want Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and while it’s not realistic now, it could be by the start of the 2018 season.

Stanton has cleared revocable waivers, so he’s eligible to be dealt to any club. That he wasn’t claimed, however, meant that no club is willing to risk simply assuming Stanton’s $285 million deal if the Marlins just let him walk. It’s doubtful that the Marlins would do that, however, as a trade of Stanton would work better as the major move of a rebuilding effort. It’s already hard to sell Marlins tickets with Stanton as a draw. It’ll be harder to sell tickets to Marlins games without Stanton as a draw. If the new owners did that AND simply dumped him for financial purposes without getting some hope for the future in return, they’d be run out of town on a rail before they put their suitcases down.

So no, a Stanton trade is not going to be easy to make, if indeed the Marlins wish to trade him. But it certainly seems like talk of a Stanton trade is going to dominate the offseason.

 

 

Tigers, Royals to play a regular season game in Omaha next year

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Major League Baseball announced today that the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers will play a regular season game in Omaha, Nebraska next year to open the festivities for the College World Series.

The game will be played on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha two days before the first game of the Series. It will be televised nationally by ESPN. TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. Which, um, probably means this will be one of the larger crowds for the Royals next year if the club’s current trajectory continues.

This will be the fourth small-park, special occasion regular season game for Major League Baseball in recent years. hIn July 2016 the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins played at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for service members. Last August the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals played in the inaugural Little League Classic, which took place at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There will be a second Little League Classic in Williamsport this August between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.