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Report: Marlins are trying to strongarm Giancarlo Stanton into accepting a trade

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The Marlins, with fresh new ownership, are going into one of their familar firesale modes, which means the club is actively looking to trade star slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton, who just won the 2017 National League Most Valuable Player Award, has a full no-trade clause and reportedly prefers to go to the Dodgers. Stanton is from Los Angeles. The Dodgers, however, may not end up being a fit. If Stanton doesn’t like his options, he can simply refuse to waive his no-trade clause and remain with the Marlins.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have warned Stanton that if he does refuse to waive his no-trade clause, he’ll be the only star because the team would attempt to trade other players to reduce payroll. Spencer notes that the Marlins didn’t present the statement as an ultimatum, but it pretty much is. The Marlins’ payroll target, according to Spencer, is $90 million. Without factoring in arbitration-eligible players, the Marlins already have nearly $132 million committed for 2018.

Other players the Marlins would explore trading include Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon, J.T. Realmuto, Martin Prado, Edinson Volquez, and Justin Bour, among others. Prado, who has the second-highest salary on the team at $13.5 million, will earn just over half of Stanton’s 2018 salary — $25 million. He’s owed $295 million for the remainder of his 10-year, $325 million contract. Needless to say, getting another team to assume a large portion of Stanton’s contract would be the most efficient way for the Marlins to create payroll flexibility. Of course, in requiring a team to pay off Stanton’s contract, the Marlins have very little leverage with which to request good prospects. That’s a problem, too.

Any team acquiring Stanton would be getting a proven slugger in the prime of his career. Now 28 years old, Stanton is coming off a season in which he hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs, 132 RBI, and 123 runs scored in 692 plate appearances. It was, however, just the third time in Stanton’s eight-year career that he crossed the 600-PA threshold.

The Cardinals and Giants have reportedly shown the most interest in acquiring Stanton. Neither of those teams play in Los Angeles.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.