Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton, who will enter the offseason as the most-watched trade candidate in baseball, said in an appearance last night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that he is slated to meet with the team’s new ownership group after the World Series ends. (Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was among those to report on the comments.)
It’s a bit surprising to learn that Stanton hasn’t yet sat down with the incoming owners, who have been led publicly by surefire Hall-of-Famer Derek Jeter. His no-trade protection, after all, gives him full veto authority over any trade, so Stanton’s own preferences will weigh heavily in dictating the Miami organization’s freedom of action this winter.
As I explored in discussing the Marlins’ offseason options just yesterday, the team’s reported intentions to drop payroll to the $90MM level seem to make a Stanton deal rather likely. Particularly given that the slugger is coming off of an excellent season that boosted his profile and marketability, Stanton will hold quite a lot of appeal to other organizations. But the Marlins can scarcely afford to hang onto him at that payroll level, and almost certainly can’t afford to do so while also seeking to acquire new MLB talent to boost a moribund pitching staff.
Stanton fielded some questions from Kimmel about possible destinations. While it’s possible to read something into the responses, it largely seems that Stanton ably handled them without giving away anything of substance. He did acknowledge he “grew up a Dodger fan” and hinted he’d have little trouble approving a deal to send him to the National League champs, though that’s hardly surprising. Stanton also said he’d be willing to spend some time as a DH when asked about the Red Sox as a landing spot, though again that was hardly a committed response. And the slugger quipped that he “like[s] beating up on the Mets” when asked about that (seemingly unlikely) destination, that hardly seems to dictate anything about his future.
Ultimately, all that’s really known about Stanton’s preferences, per Jackson, is that he does not wish to endure a rebuild. Even then, it’s all but impossible at this point to know whether the star would consider a move to a team that is just opening a competitive window. Given that he has yet even to discuss the situation with the team’s new top decisionmakers, it seems fair to say that the potential offseason drama has yet even to begin in earnest.