The Miami Marlins are looking to drastically slash their payroll under the ownership of former New York Yankees superstar Derek Jeter. The behemoth contract signed by right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is the elephant in the room, and he has already stated he does not want to be part of a constant rebuild. It is in the best interest of both parties for a trade to happen and fast, as Stanton can opt out after 2020.
The question now is where Stanton will wind up. He has a full no trade clause and can veto a trade to any team not on his list of final destinations. He has already expressed a desire to win, so any team that is in the playoff picture year after year would surely be an area of interest for him. Stanton would also prefer to play on the West Coast, so putting this puzzle together, his prefered destination would be the Los Angeles Dodgers.
One problem with this: the Dodgers will likely not be in play. Their payroll is already bloated, and they will face harsh penalties for going over the luxury tax threshold again. Adding Stanton at roughly $30 million for the season is not in their best interest.
Here are the two teams that would likely make the best destinations for Stanton if the Marlins can pull off the trade.
St Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have a deep farm system with pieces that the Marlins have struggled to find after the death of Jose Fernandez. The Cardinals could offer two highly touted young pitchers in righthander Alex Reyes, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery, and Luke Weaver.
The issues with the Cardinals are twofold. For starters they already have $117 million tied up into nine players still on their roster with another that had been traded midseason. Adding Stanton’s monster salary will cripple them for the season. More to the point, they already have a plethora of outfielders that, while not at Stanton’s level of production, can certainly get the job done.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants don’t boast nearly as deep a farm system as the Cardinals, considering all the trades they have made to make their World Series runs in 2010, 2012 and 2014. They also have somewhat limited payroll flexibility, with $166 million tied up into 12 players, including the recently retired Matt Cain. The talks between the Giants and Marlins have featured the No. 2 and 3 prospects in the Giants system, as well as second baseman Joe Panik, for Stanton straight up.
The Giants could now have some payroll flexibility. If the fans stay in attendance the way they have since AT&T Park opened in 2000, the fact that the team does not have to make mortgage payments opens opportunity to pull the trigger on Stanton, who will seriously help this team in the power department. On top of that, they have an investment in a property across from the stadium. If that is successful, then their financial flexibility will increase even more so.
The Marlins have already stated that their main objective this offseason will be to shed payroll. The Giants are the better suited of these two teams to take on this gigantic contract. Here’s hoping they win between now and 2020.