Well, here we go. Offer time.
Ken Rosenthal reports that interested teams – the Cardinals, Giants, and Red Sox already among them, and others are coming – either have already, or will shortly, submit initial trade offers for NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton.
The rumors have abounded ever since the trade deadline, and then accelerated when new ownership took over and pronounced that payroll must be slashed. But now that the Marlins are accepting and reviewing offers, and saying things like this, you know they’re ready to deal: “I know what I want to do. I need to know what you can do. Until I know where you’re at on the contract, the money, all that stuff, I can’t engage.” That’s from GM Michael Hill this week, per Rosenthal. In my experience, you don’t talk that way about a potential trade unless you’ve given up the pretense that you’re not REALLY trying to make it happen.
So, yes, I’d say Stanton is going to be traded this offseason. And wherever he goes, it will not only have a dramatic ripple effect on the rest of the offseason, but it will obviously shake up a divisional race in the process. The dude just turned 28, hit .281/.376/.631 last year with 59 homers, and was worth 6.9 WAR. He could potentially add a literal four or five additional wins to a team in 2018 – think about that impact on, for example, an 85-win Cardinals team. Suddenly, in one move, they could be looking at 90+ wins and maybe even a better projection than the Cubs.
Thanks to his no-trade rights and 10-year, $295 million contract, the Marlins are going to be exceedingly limited in how much they can actually demand for Stanton in trade, and I still expect that their primary goal will simply be to unload as much of the contract as possible.
It’s going to be fascinating to see if the details of any of the trade offers leak, and how the back-and-forth proceeds. Because Stanton is such an overwhelming piece on the market (both in impact and financial cost), I have no doubt that interested teams will want to resolve this situation before moving on to other targets. Between Stanton and the Shohei Ohtani posting saga, it’s possible the market is being held up around baseball as the trickle down impacts teams and free agents.