Posted on December 8, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
A few days ago, the Giancarlo Stanton trade saga appeared to be nearing its conclusion. Stanton had met with both the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, two teams that reportedly had the framework of a trade worked out with the Miami Marlins. But reports of resolution to the situation may have been exaggerated. The latest reports indicate that Stanton is not ready to approve a deal to either the Giants or Cardinals. Instead, he’s holding out in hopes that other teams become involved.
The latest out of Miami indicates that Stanton has told the Marlins he would only approve a trade to the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, or Cubs. Obviously, that list does not include the Giants or Cardinals, the two teams most active in trade discussions.
Those are also the four teams that played in the League Championship Series in each league this past season. If those are the four teams on Stanton’s list, he obviously values winning above anything. Of course, the Cardinals and Giants have combined for four of the last eight World Series championships. However, after years of losing in Miami, Stanton may be in a rush to play for a World Series contender.
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If Stanton were completely comfortable being traded to either the Giants or Cardinals, he probably would have approved a trade to either by now. The caveat is that those are the two teams that want him. Meanwhile, the teams that he wants don’t appear all that eager to trade for him.
The Dodgers have reportedly had some trade discussions with the Marlins. There’s little doubt that the Dodgers have the resources to afford Stanton if they wanted to. But Los Angeles appears more interested in cutting payroll, not adding a player set to make nearly $300 million over the next decade. The Dodgers also don’t need to make a huge splash this offseason after falling one game short of a championship in 2017.
The situation is similar with the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are hoping to get under the luxury tax. New York also has a monstrous power hitter in Aaron Judge. They don’t exactly need Stanton. They are also unlikely to become serious suitors for Stanton unless the Marlins are willing to take on some of their larger contracts, which doesn’t seem likely at this point.
Meanwhile, there have been no reports linking either the Astros or Cubs to Stanton. Neither has an obvious need in the outfield, and neither should be eager to add Stanton’s salary to their payroll. At this point, Stanton going to the Cubs or Astros would be nearly as shocking as him being traded to the Padres.
Unless Stanton comes around and approves a trade to the Giants or Cardinals, the Marlins are stuck in a bind. They can try to engage the Dodgers and Yankees in trade talks. But they would likely have to pay more of Stanton’s salary to get a deal done.
Miami’s only other option would be to pivot, keep Stanton, and work on trading other players to help cut their payroll. They’ve already done that by trading Dee Gordon to the Mariners on Thursday. Stanton has said he would not like to be the only star in Miami while the team rebuilds. Moving other players could force Stanton to reconsider his options and perhaps approve a trade to the Giants or Cardinals. But that would be an extreme move by the Marlins.
In the meantime, we wait. Most believed Stanton’s saga would have a resolution by the start of the Winter Meetings on Monday. But that may not be the case. In fact, if Stanton were to officially reject trades to both the Giants and Cardinals, this situation would be as complicated as ever.