Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton has already generated plenty of buzz at the GM Meetings. Perhaps that’s unsurprising, given that his massive contract represents a key factor in the Miami organization’s offseason — and those of the teams that will consider acquiring it. Given the unique circumstances at play, perhaps it wouldn’t be surprising if he were to be dealt at a relatively early stage.
Here’s the latest:
- The Dodgers are indeed in the mix for Stanton, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. To what extent Los Angeles is interested remains unclear, but the Dodgers certainly have the payroll capacity to take on the contract as well as the young talent in order to entice the Marlins to part with Stanton.
- Stanton actually has not ruled out the Red Sox — or, it seems, any other organizations — according to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. While the slugger may have initial preferences, Drellich writes that he’s maintaining a “’completely’ open mind.” It’s ultimately not too surprising to hear some competing information flying about Stanton’s approach, for the reasons Goold explores in the below-linked piece. But if the slugger is indeed willing to entertain any possibilities, then that will presumably make for a more wide-open process — and keep things interesting right up to the point that Stanton weighs an actual opportunity t change teams, should it arise.
- The Giants have at times given signals of going big for Stanton (or another expensive player) or instead trying to stay under the luxury tax line. But it seems the organization is engaged with the Marlins in earnest. Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, via Twitter, the clubs are discussing Giants prospect Heliot Ramos as a possible element of a hypothetical return for Stanton. San Francisco is joined by at least three others in chasing the slugger at this point, he adds. (Those looking for subtle signals will also note that Giants GM Bobby Evans and Marlins president of baseball ops Michael Hill were spotted on a joint foyer foray this morning, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.)
- Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, meanwhile, hears at least seven clubs have shown some level of interest in Stanton, noting that the Marlins front office is “encouraged” by the early dialogue. Front office sources from other organizations framed things a bit differently; ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets that there’s a perception that the Marlins are seeking a “shockingly high” package for the rights to pay Stanton at a premium rate, particularly since his deal includes an opt-out clause.
- Importantly, per Heyman, Miami is said to be open to hanging on to some of Stanton’s contract. Additionally, the team is focused on achieving value rather than on getting young pitching, specifically.
- Of course, Stanton’s own preferences hold the final say in any deal. While it’s far from certain, there are rumblings that Stanton is not inclined to approve a swap that would send him to the Cardinals or Red Sox, as Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald reports. If nothing else, anything less than a full blessing from Stanton with regard to a given organization would likely complicate any effort to finalize a deal.
- The no-trade clause obviously ties into the subject of leverage, which is a key issue for the Fish, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains. Since Miami would do well to keep its cards close to the vest with regard to Stanton’s preferences, the information flow is critical to the Marlins’ effort to maximize their return while finding a landing spot Stanton that will authorize.
- While the Red Sox “may have checked in” on Stanton, they seem to be focused elsewhere. And the Dodgers haven’t engaged yet at all, Heyman adds. Both of those teams were highlighted by MLBTR as among the best fits on paper for the star slugger.