They have no reason to throw their hat in the ring. Stanton would fetch a king’s ransom in not just prospects, but major league ready talent, which the rebuilding Tigers cannot afford to give up. And his $25 million a year (and still increasing!) salary is counter-intuitive to general manager Al Avila’s plan to cut costs and shy away from big contracts.
Once the face and untradeable cornerstone of the long-struggling Miami Marlins, Stanton, the recently crowned National League MVP, is now the hottest commodity on the trade market, despite a “shockingly high” asking price, per ESPN’s Buster Olney. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that eight teams have expressed interest in the Marlins’ slugger, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants.
While things have cooled down considerably as of late, here’s what we know so far from each identified camp.
- The Phillies were the first of the group to express their interest in Stanton, pitching a trade concept at the July deadline, as reported by Ken Rosenthal. While they have young pieces and are trending upward for the first time since 2011, Heyman reported that Stanton would likely shy away from a move to Philadelphia due to the team’s rebuilding state.
- The Giants were quick to throw their hat in the ring, with their plan of attack taking action as soon as the offseason began and, per Rosenthal, have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins in the form of a package consisting of second baseman Joe Panik, and their No. 2 and 3 overall MLB Pipeline prospects, pitcher Tyler Beede and outfielder Chris Shaw, in exchange for Stanton and Dee Gordon. Off of the bat, they fit into Stanton’s apparently expressed preference to play on the west coast. They have also been the most aggressive in their pursuit, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
- The Cardinals have often been mentioned in reports involving a Stanton trade. Jon Morosi’s initial report report indicated that the Cardinals and Marlins discussed trade concepts for a Stanton deal at last Wednesday’s General Manager Meetings in Orlando, with Morosi later reporting an official offer from the Cards on Sunday, though the specifics of the offer were not disclosed, nor did the clubs confirm the news.
- The Red Sox, mentioned early in trade talks, quickly fell out of the running for Stanton, with the Boston Herald’s Doug Jennings citing a report that he would exercise his no-trade clause on a deal sending him to Boston. Jennings also noted that Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski, following farm system-clearing deals for Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel, among others, was mum on the subject and not keen to sell off further assets.
- The Yankees emerged as a candidate as news broke on Wednesday about the club’s inquiry on Stanton. Further news emerged from Heyman on Thursday, confirming the Yankees had talked to Jeter and the Marlins about him. With Aaron Judge already in right field there is no immediate need for Stanton, though the allure held by the prestigious pinstripes and deep well of young prospects makes for an interesting trade case.
- Most intriguing, and perhaps most frightening, are sources, including Heyman and Mark Feinsand, reporting on Wednesday that the Dodgers are one of the eight teams in on Stanton. This is a destination that makes sense on both sides. Stanton, a Los Angeles native, is looking for the team that gives him the best chance to win, and the Dodgers present the strongest case out of the indicated members of the pack, already presenting a threatening lineup consisting headlined by Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner. However, though the clubs have been in contact, there is “little momentum” to talks between the two sides, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.
There’s no real certainty so far as to where Stanton will land, but we do know this: it’s going to be one wild ride as this continues to unfold. Buckle up, folks.