The Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes have been the most intriguing drama of the off-season thus far. The Miami Marlins have been sold to a new ownership group led by former Yankee Icon Derek Jeter. One of the new ownership group’s top priorities is to make the Marlins solvent again. The Fish have been awful for years and the new owners are looking to lower payroll. In order to do that they would have to jettison star slugger Giancarlo Stanton’s enormous contract.
Stanton is signed to a massive 13-year 325 million dollar deal with the option to opt out following the 2020 season. Stanton will be earning anywhere from 25-32 million dollars per season through the lifetime of the remainder of his contract. Trade proposals have been rolling in and of course the Dodgers are rumored to be one of the potential suitors.
Getting Stanton would be no easy task considering his gigantic contract, but he would be worth every penny. Stanton just recently won the National League MVP award after hitting 59 home runs and driving in 132 runs during the 2017 season. Stanton posted a .631 slugging percentage and scored 123 runs. He put up a 165 OPS+ and is one of the most valuable players in baseball.
The Dodgers could theoretically put him in left field, despite him being a right fielder for his entire career. Stanton has played 942 games in right field and has never appeared in left field. He’s posted 49 defensive runs saved in his eight big league seasons. He’s a good outfielder too.
There are several other clubs that are rumored to be in on Stanton. The Red Sox, Phillies, Cardinals, and yes even the Giants (yuck) have been reportedly talking to the Marlins about possible trade scenarios. You can add the Dodgers in on those as well.
I wonder if the reports are accurate. Baseball executives are always exploring new trade opportunities to bolster their rosters every winter. That doesn’t necessarily mean that any of those reports come to life or are even close to coming true. You make the phone calls, you have discussions but sometimes that’s all they are. If the rumors of the Dodger’s involvement are even true. Even the beat reporters don’t know for sure what goes on behind closed doors of the Dodger’s front office.
Stanton has a full no-trade clause and has expressed interest in being moved to a contending club. The Dodgers won the pennant and tallied 104 wins during the regular season. There’s no better contender than the Dodgers to be traded too.
I hate to burst anyone’s bubble that’s hoping to see Stanton wearing Dodger Blue. I don’t see much of a chance of this happening. The Dodgers don’t need many improvements to a roster that won 104 games and the National league pennant in 2017. There’s no question that Stanton would be a wonderful addition to the starting lineup, but it’s not like the Dodgers need him after slugging 221 home runs and scoring 770 runs in 2017.
It also would not fit into the narrative of the front office’s M.O. These guys are rarely known to make blockbuster trades that add huge amounts of payroll. Trading for Stanton would add hundreds of millions of dollars to the payroll putting the Dodgers at risk of penalties from the luxury tax. The Dodgers already have the most expensive payroll in baseball. Not that I would care, as I have said before. It’s not my money, nor is it yours. If the Dodgers want to increase payroll by a hundred million dollars to add Stanton or anyone close to him without losing top prospects than I would be all for it.
If the Dodgers were to acquire Stanton they would likely have to part ways with several top prospects, or take on a large amount of money. Those are both things that this current front office has stayed away from doing. Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi love cheap young cost controlled players. Their philosophies have worked since the Dodgers were young, deep, multi-faceted and super efficient in 2017. Guess what, it worked. They won the pennant and came within a game from winning the World Series.
There is no question that Stanton would be an incredibly awesome acquisition. He’s one of the best players in baseball. He’s a home run hitting monster. He’s basically voltron with arms and legs. However it would cost a lot to get him and I don’t see the Dodger front office deviating from their usual blueprint. We’ll see how this whole thing plays out as the offseason progresses. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go to the Giants. Seriously.