I was reading Nick Cafardo's piece in Sunday's Boston Globe that is chock full of trade rumors and other useful information to get one through the offseason and found this bit to be worth a further look:
1. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins — Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has tried at least 10 times to pry Stanton loose, with no luck. Tough sell inside the division. But with Dan Jennings now at the helm in Miami, who knows if the Marlins would let Stanton go? Stanton would draw interest from a lot of teams, including the Tigers, Mets, Mariners, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, and Red Sox, so Jennings could get a load of top prospects.
We have heard these rumors before, and this could just be a rehash of some old rumors, but Cafardo mentions one bit of information that could actually result in the Marlins dealing Giancarlo Stanton this offseason. On the last day of the regular season, the Marlins fired GM and President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest. Replacing Beinfest is Dan Jennings, who will more than likely just be a figurehead in the Marlins front office, since owner Jeffrey Loria seems to think he knows how to run a baseball team, as well as own one.
Loria is one GM who does not like players who lash out at ownership and that is exactly what Stanton did last offseason when the Marlins hosted a fire sale, dealing Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle to the Blue Jays for prospects. At the time, the trade looked like a steal for the Blue Jays, but at the end of the season, the Marlins did very well in that deal, and now Loria may want to see what he can get in return for Stanton.
It will certainly be a lot, so why not dangle him, right? There will be a long list of teams looking to trade for Stanton this offseason, should he become available, so let's take a look at a few teams that could show interest,
Stanton to the Rangers
Yes, the obvious landing spot for Stanton, right? The Rangers allowed Josh Hamilton to leave via free agency last offseason, and have a big hole in their lineup should Nelson Cruz not accept his qualifying offer. Stanton would be a perfect fit in right field for the Rangers, but at what cost. Well, to start, they would have to include shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar in any deal for Stanton. Add a few pitching prospects and you could have Stanton hitting in the middle of the Rangers lineup in 2014.
Stanton to the Pirates
I think we will start hearing more about the Pirates being aggressive this offseason, especially after reading this article from Rob Biertempfel from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Here is an excerpt, which indicates they will be aggressive in free agency and trades this offseason:
This season the total payroll of the Pirates' 40-man roster was $75 million. That figure will grow, likely by a significant margin, next season. The Pirates will gain revenue from an expanded season ticket-holder base (a byproduct of this year's postseason run) and a large bump in its share of the national television money doled out by MLB.
Owner Bob Nutting already has signaled that the club's penny-pinching days are over. He allowed Huntington to go over budget late in the season by trading for Marlon Byrd, Justin Morneau and John Buck.
The owner goes on to say that his responsibility is the long term health of the ball club, but also said he isn't willing to deal their top prospects:
What we're not willing to do is mortgage the future by trading really premier prospects."
Now, we have no idea who the Pirates front office thinks is their premier prospects, do we? Who the Baseball America's and John Sickels of the prospecting universe think are the Pirates premier prospects could differ slightly from who their front office and scouting department thinks are their top prospects.
Any offer would have to start with Jameson Taillon, the Pirates top pitching prospect now that Gerrit Cole has become the ace of the Pirates staff in half a season in the big leagues. Add one of Gregory Polanco or Alen Hanson, and a few other lower level pitching prospects, and the Pirates could fill the hole they have in right field this offseason.
Stanton to the Diamondbacks
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has indicated that he will be looking to add an impact power hitter this offseason, whether internally or externally, and there is no bigger power hitter available (presumably) than Stanton.
The Diamondbacks have several top pitching prospects in Archie Bradley, Tyler Skaggs, David Holmberg and Andrew Chafin that could be included in a package for Stanton. Towers also has one too many shortstops in Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings, so one of his two young shortstops could also be included.
For fantasy owners, a deal to the Rangers or Diamondbacks would be ideal, as both the Ballpark at Arlington and Chase Field are paradises for hitters.
Who else could put together a package of prospects for Stanton this offseason? Chime in in the comments section below.