The hottest non-free agent name this offseason among major league baseball teams is the Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, picking up plenty of interest, most recently from the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.
The Marlins, as with every offseason, seem to be more interested in listening to what teams around the league have to offer for their best players than building a winning, consistent franchise. The Marlins did sign Stanton to a huge deal that he can opt out of after the 2020 season, but the Marlins would rather gain prospects and young talent than hold on to their 27-year old, home run king & MVP candidate.
While the Giants might be in the biggest need of someone like Stanton, considering they finished last in the NL West and 29th in the majors in producing runs, they may have the least chance of landing him. Rumors suggest that the Marlins aren’t too enthusiastic about the farm system in San Francisco, and what the Giants can offer in a potential deal. The Giants would also have to shed quite a lot of money off their payroll, as Stanton’s contract ($25 million in 2018) would take them well past the $197 million luxury tax threshold next season, if he does join them.
Another NL team looking into Stanton, among other big hitters, is the Cardinals. The two teams have been in discussions about Stanton and also Brad Ziegler. The Cardinals missed the postseason for the second straight year in 2017, finishing with their lowest win total since 2007, finishing 13th in the majors in runs and 17th in slugging. While making such a move isn’t too typical of how this franchise has built for success in the past, chasing down a deep and talented Cubs team might take some outside-of-the-box thinking.
The Red Sox struggled on offense in the year after David Ortiz, and although they finished 1st in the very good AL East, it wasn’t enough in the postseason, losing in the ALDS for a second straight year. Like the Cardinals, they also have their eyes on other players, J.D. Martinez for example (the Cardinals are looking into Jackie Bradley Jr. of Boston), but remain in touch with the Marlins, perhaps only doing their due diligence.
Stanton, 27, has 3 more seasons before he can opt out of his deal with the Marlins, making $77 million in that time. If he doesn’t opt out after 2020, he’s guaranteed to make $208 million through 2027. The 5-time All-Star enjoyed his best season in 2017, hitting 59 home runs, leading the majors with .631 slugging and picking up his second Silver Slugger award, while missing only 3 games the entire season.