The first-place Red Sox’s success this year has come despite a lack of power (they entered Saturday 26th in the majors in home runs and 27th in ISO), leading Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe to argue that they have to pursue Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason. It’s unclear whether the new Marlins ownership group will shop the right fielder and potential 60-home run man, but Cafardo contends that a Red Sox offer consisting of left fielder Andrew Benintendi, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and a pitching prospect would grab the attention of Derek Jeter & Co. As great as Stanton has been this year, it’s tough to imagine Boston parting with Benintendi, a top-flight rookie who won’t even be eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 campaign. Stanton, meanwhile, is still due another $295MM from 2018-28, and his contract includes full no-trade rights and an opt-out clause after the 2020 campaign.
More from Cafardo:
- It won’t be a surprise if the Blue Jays shop third baseman Josh Donaldson in the offseason, per Cafardo. Donaldson, 31, will enter a contract year in 2018, one that will see him make $17MM. While Donaldson has missed a large chunk of time this year for a Jays team that has had a terrible 2017, he’s in the midst of yet another highly productive season, having slashed .253/.379/.515 with 23 home runs in 396 plate appearances.
- Yankees general manager Brian Cashman went to Japan last week to watch two-way sensation Shohei Otani, a right-handed ace and left-handed slugger who could head the majors in the offseason. Thanks to some recent trades, the Yankees have boosted their international pool money total from $4.75MM to $8MM, which could help them reel in the 23-year-old if he does become available in the next few months.
- Speaking of Cashman, if he’s still the Yankees GM after the season (his contract is set to expire), it’s possible he’ll be able to move outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury in a trade, Cafardo writes. The recipient of a seven-year, $153MM contract prior to 2014, the ex-Boston star has disappointed and become a superfluous piece in New York, which looks set in the outfield with Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier in the fold. The 33-year-old Ellsbury still has around $68MM left on his deal (including a $5MM buyout in 2021), but Cafardo suggests that the Yankees could get rid of him if they’re willing to retain approximately half of that money.