10:42pm: The meeting should not be read as an indication that a deal is about to go down, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro cautions on Twitter. Rather, he says, “a trade is not considered imminent” and the Marlins “remain engaged with other clubs” regarding Stanton.
8:42pm: The Giants have sent executives to meet with representatives of star Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, according to Craig Mish of Sirius XM (Twitter links). It is not clear whether the meeting, which is said to be taking place in Los Angeles, will also include Stanton himself. Top organizational figures are on hand for the Giants, though,with president of baseball operations Brian Sabean, GM Bobby Evans, and skipper Bruce Bochy all trekking south.
Obviously, such a sit-down could only occur if the Marlins have authorized the discussion. In all likelihood, it seems, permission would only be given if the teams believed they could potentially finalize a deal involving Stanton, whose approval would be needed for any swap given his full no-trade rights.
Earlier today, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discussed the parameters of possible interactions between Stanton and his pursuers. Of course, he was addressing the point in reference to the Cardinals’ efforts to land the star performer, and it’s not clear at this point whether the St. Louis organization will be afforded such an opportunity.
Throughout the offseason, rumors have surrounded the possibility of the Marlins dealing Stanton — their biggest star, and also the league’s highest-paid player. The west coast native is believed to prefer to play close to his Los Angeles home, but the hometown Dodgers have only operated at the fringes of the market thus far.
Some have suggested of late that the situation — which has seemingly backed into something of a stalemate since the end of the GM Meetings — could end up playing out more slowly. Both Stanton and the Marlins, perhaps, would prefer to see the Dodgers enter the fray. Or, perhaps, other organizations could join the Giants and Cardinals, the clear top two pursuers to this point.
There has been some discussion of possible trade scenarios between the teams, but on the whole it is not clear just what kind of package could be contemplated if the San Francisco brass can convince Stanton to join on. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi discussed a potential return for Stanton in an article earlier today, but also made clear that MLB.com had not confirmed that any of the rumored players had actually been formally offered or asked for. And others — such as Bob Nightengale of USA Today, on Twitter — have cast doubt on the idea that the true potential trade package has yet been stated publicly. There is, however, indication from some quarters that the Giants are willing to take on the bulk or even all of Stanton’s contract, as Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets.
With respect to the talks between Stanton’s representatives and his would-be new employers, it’s possible to imagine any number of topics being discussed. No doubt Stanton will be interested to learn more about the organization’s plans to return to contention after a disastrous 2017 campaign. As Nightengale notes in another tweet, though, it’s also possible there could be some contractual negotiations. Because Stanton would stand to take a hit to his bottom line by playing half his games in California, his representatives might conceivably request some kind of compensation.