The Miami Marlins are already fielding trade proposals for National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Friday. But don’t expect a trade to be finalized anytime soon.
According to Rosenthal, the San Francisco Giants are the one known team to send a proposal to Miami. If they haven’t already, the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox are expected to follow suit. Several other clubs are reportedly in the early stages of putting together their initial offer. But the Marlins won’t be in a hurry to accept a proposal as they’re only beginning the process of evaluating their needs and what might be available.
Other, unidentified clubs also have told the Marlins they will submit offers for Stanton, but the process is just beginning, sources said. Marlins general manager Michael Hill said this week he wanted teams to inform him of the kind of proposals they were willing to make for Stanton before determining how he will proceed.
An initial offer does not necessarily indicate serious interest; some bidders might simply be trying to gauge the Marlins’ price. Any trade for Stanton is expected to include a combination of financial relief for the Marlins and prospects the team will use to rebuild. Under the sliding scale often used in such discussions, the more money the acquiring team absorbs, the lesser the cost in prospects.
This feels like a situation that could drag out and really dominate the headlines all winter long. Unless one team gets really aggressive by offering the farm, extreme financial relief, or both, the Marlins sound prepared to pick through this detail by detail in order to maximize their return.
Another factor that could extend this process is Stanton’s ability to veto any trade. Not only do the Marlins have to find a match for them, they have to find a place where Stanton is willing to go. At this point, there have only been vague reports that Stanton prefers to play on either coast.
Stanton, who just turned 28 last week, is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes an opt-out after 2020. That’s yet another factor that will have to weigh on any team looking to acquire him. Though Stanton would obviously be giving up huge money, it’s a gamble he might be willing to take at that point in his career. Especially with Bryce Harper preparing to set a new bar for free agent contracts next winter.
There’s also the chance the Marlins don’t find a deal to their liking and ultimately hold on to Stanton. It feels like a remote possibility right now, but there’s no guarantee it will happen. It would certainly make for an awkward situation, but how much more awkward could it get considering Stanton has yet to hear from new owner Derek Jeter?
Beyond that, Stanton appears to be keeping a professional perspective. He sounds open to returning to Miami and hopefully competing there, though he wasn’t hesitant to note what the new ownership’s role would have to be in making that happen.
We thought all of the drama was coming next winter, when some of the game’s brightest stars are set to reach free agency. It’s possible none of that will compare to what could play out with Stanton and the Marlins.
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