What follows is pure speculation found in a recent prospect chat.
The offseason will begin within the next week, and with that, the Hot Stove season will begin as well. The hot stove season is what keeps my mind on baseball and gets me through the cold winter days leading up to Spring Training 2015. As the hot stove season is set to begin, I will, from time to time, offer my thoughts on the fantasy impact of some of the rumors in the news, and on the offseason free agent signings and trades.
So, here is one rumor that I read about for the first time on Friday. I don't think the two teams are discussing such a deal, but the deal makes sense for both teams.
I was a little behind in reading the most recent Keith Law chats, so I spent part of my Friday lunch break reading his chat transcripts. In addition to the usual snark and prospect information, Law also gave his thoughts on a deal involving two huge superstars: Giancarlo Stanton for Yasiel Puig.
Here is the question Law answered on the subject:
Back to Puig-Stanton: LA won't mind having to extend him w/ a BIG contract in couple years and Miami wins b/c of the Cuban fanbase plus he's relatively cheap for the long haul assuming he keeps improving. Miami can't afford next Stanton contract anyways...Please get this done, thanks.
Klaw (2:44 PM)
The Marlins have stated they want to sign Stanton to a long term deal and will attempt to do so this offseason. But, more than likely, the offer will not come close to his market value. If they do make an offer, and Stanton ultimately rejects the offer, I could see the Marlins listening to trade offers for the young power hitter.
Stanton made $6.5 million in 2014, and is arbitration eligible in 2015 and 2016, so his salary will more than likely double in each of the next two seasons. Stanton will be a free agent after the 2016 season, and if they determine they cannot meet his salary demands, they should entertain offers for him this offseason.
The Marlins will have see plenty of interest if they make him available this offseason, especially with so few hitters available in free agency. But, teams who do have interest will have to give up plenty in prospects and young, controllable talent for the rights to Stanton. And giving up so much in young talent, teams will have to make sure they can pay him enough to sign him long term. No use giving up a boatload of young, controllable talent only to see him walk after two seasons.
That will limit the number of teams who can deal for him. Enter the Dodgers.
In addition to the aforementioned Puig, a star in his own right, the Dodgers also have an improved farm system, led by major league ready outfielder Joc Pederson, shortstop/third base prospect Corey Seager, and pitching prospect Julio Urias. You can read more about their top prospects and the rest of their Top 10 fantasy prospects heading into the 2015 season in the article below:
Puig made just $2.5 million in 2014, and his salaries are set to escalate from $4.5 million in 2015 to just $7.5 million in 2018, after which he becomes a free agent. Puig can opt in to arbitration once he earns three years of major league service time, which he will surely choose to do. So, his salary is set to rise after the 2015 season, so that is something the Marlins, or any interested team, will have to consider should they look to deal for him.
The Dodgers already have too many outfielders on their current roster, but they are expected to deal from their surplus this offseason. To do so, they will have to eat a big part of the contracts for Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford in any deal they make. I don't include Matt Kemp here, as I think they should not trade him this offseason, as he appears all the way back to his pre-injury form at the plate.
Dealing Puig for Stanton makes sense for both teams, as Puig won't become a free agent until the 2019 season, so the Marlins would have him under control for the next four seasons. Stanton is set to see his salary rise over the next two seasons before becoming a free agent, so the Marlins have some incentive to deal him now rather than waiting till midseason.
The fact that they want to compete this season could prevent the Marlins from pursuing a deal involving Stanton, but adding Puig, along with a few prospects not named Pederson, Seager or Urias, wouldn't be a big downgrade for them.
The fact that Stanton is from California could help the Dodgers in any trade talks with the Marlins. Miami has a large Cuban population, and bringing Puig back in a Stanton trade could appeal to the Marlins efforts to improve their attendance at Marlins Park.
If this trade were to happen, I don't see their fantasy values changing much. Stanton could hit a few more home runs at Dodger Stadium, with Puig's value not changing with change in home ball parks.
As a Dodgers fan, I would like this trade, as Stanton is the best power hitter in the game, and is a threat to hit one out every time he steps up to the plate. He has become a very good hitter in his four seasons in the big leagues, and has increased his walk rate as a result. While I am a big fan of Puig, I am a bigger fan of Stanton. The fact that only a few teams can afford the contract that Stanton will demand helps the Dodgers in trade talks for his services.