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.