As everyone knows by now, the Miami Marlins have jettisoned pretty much everything that isn’t nailed down to their monstrosity of a stadium, making them look remarkably like a furniture store liquidation sale on crack.
The one piece the Marlins’ snake oil salesmen haven’t sold yet is their most attractive commodity, slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. But with all the other players that have been traded in the last two weeks, is there a possibility Jeffrey Loria and his brood of vipers would trade perhaps the best young slugger in the game?
And is there even the slightest chance they would trade him within the division to the Phils?
Still, reports at least show that Ruben Amaro and the Phillies’ brass have put on their tire kickin’ shoes.
— Hardball Talk (@HardballTalk) November 25, 2012
Of course, it’s not just the Phillies who are doing “their due diligence” as Amaro and pals like to say. Every single baseball team in the western hemisphere is making the same phone calls to Loria’s den of evil. And you can be sure every team is hearing the same thing.
Breaking: Every MLB team is interested in Giancarlo Stanton. Also breaking: every GM’s phone when he hears what the Marlins want in return.
— Wendy Thurm (@hangingsliders) November 25, 2012
So, just for the sake of argument, what would it take to get Stanton to smoke home run after home run at Citizens Bank Park for the next 5-10 years? I’m so glad I asked.
Any conversation about a 23-year-old slugger who has hit 93 home runs in his first 373 Major League games and slugged a league-leading .608 with a .969 OPS and an OPS+ of 158 last year, must begin and end with the Phils’ #1 and 2 prospects, Jesse Biddle and Trevor May. Miami would also probably ask for an additional top 10 prospect, perhaps Roman Quinn, Cody Asche or Mikael Franco. They’d likely ask for one of the big young bullpen arms, like Phillipe Aumont, as well as a Major League-ready pitcher like Vance Worley and one of Domonic Brown or Darin Ruf.
That’s where the conversation would likely start; Biddle, May, Quinn, Aumont, Worley and Brown for Stanton and perhaps a Miami minor leaguer or bullpen arm.
It would be a huge price to pay. And if I’m Ruben Amaro I’d seriously consider pulling the trigger.
The Marlins’ position must be considered as well. They’d be trading a very young player and perhaps the best slugger in the National League to a division rival. Stanton has the look of a guy who will approach 600 home runs if he stays healthy. He’s just 23, is cost-friendly and under team control until 2017.
Giancarlo Stanton is the very definition of a cornerstone player. He’s exactly the type of guy championship teams are built around.
The breaking point for most Phils fans is likely the inclusion of 20-year-old Biddle, who went 10-6 with a 3.22 ERA last year in A+ ball for the Clearwater Threshers. Biddle totaled 151 strikeouts in just 142.2 innings, and though he walked a few more batters than is ideal (3.4 per nine innings), it’s still a very good number for a player as young as him. He was the Phillies’ #1 pick 2010, and will probably start 2013 with the Reading Phillies. If all goes well, he could be in the Phils’ rotation as early as late 2014.
If Stanton were 28 years old, the inclusion of Biddle would be dismissed out of hand. But Stanton’s age and affordability makes the inclusion of Biddle completely understandable.
If the Phils are truly serious about acquiring Stanton from Miami, it’s going to hurt. They’re going to have to give, in order to get.
Also consider how many Phils’ prospects have been traded over the last few years and how few of them have actually become bona fide Major League players. Of J.A. Happ, Anthony Gose, Jonathan Villar, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp, Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Adrian Cardenas,Josh Outman, Matthew Spencer, Jared Cosart and Jonathan Singleton, only Cosart and Singleton, given up in the Hunter Pence deal a year and a half ago, look like they have a chance to be consistent big league players.
More often than not, prospects don’t pan out. And the trend around baseball now is to overvalue prospects, although it doesn’t appear the Phillies are among that contingent, given how frequently they relinquish young ballplayers. Still, the lack of a viable farm system has hurt the Phillies in recent years, and gutting the system even further for just one player, even one as talented as Giancarlo, should be thought about long and hard.
Not doing the deal makes a lot of sense too.
Of course, this whole conversation is likely a moot point.
Giancarlo Stanton is 23, earned 480k this year, will earn 515k or so next year, and is 23 yrs old. He is not getting traded
— High Cheese (@HighCheese) November 25, 2012
The players Miami has been getting rid of are all high-priced veterans. They probably aren’t looking to trade a phenomenally talented kid around which they can reconstruct the franchise. The only thing that could force Miami’s hand is if Stanton makes life so miserable for the team that they have no choice but to trade him.
Still, it’s extremely difficult to imagine Stanton getting traded anywhere, especially within the division. Miami is under no financial pressure to deal him, and the price they’d want in return will likely make any interested party choke.
It looks as though the Phils will have to hope Darin Ruf becomes their poor man’s version of Giancarlo Stanton, only older and a bit chubbier.