Jon Heyman is back at it again with the fresh Giancarlo Stanton-to-the-Giants content, so let’s see if there’s something new to dissect.
The San Francisco Giants are the team that’s shown the most interest in Giancarlo Stanton, sources suggest
That isn’t the first time we’ve read that, but it’s probably newsworthy every time it’s reiterated.
The Giants could actually have an advantage over those two teams, some think; they may be seen as more likely to turn it around quickly than the Phillies (that may or may not be true, but he may see it that way), and while winning is the No. 1 priority, it’s believed he probably would prefer to be on one of the coasts than the Midwest, if given a choice.
Both of these points also apply to the Dodgers, though. More so than the Giants, considering he grew up a Dodgers fan in Southern California.
While there’s been some suggestion out there that the Giants’ budget could be limited, they’ve made clear they aren’t about to rebuild and will do what they can to get back to their usual place in contention.
It’s extremely hard to imagine the Giants adding a $25 million player to the current payroll, much less a $32 million player to a future payroll. While I agree they aren’t going to rebuild (yet), they have to be brainstorming ideas that are a little more complex than, “Getting this one player will fix everything!”
At the same time, if the Giants are worried about ticket sales — which are much better than a 98-loss team deserves, but definitely moving in the wrong direction — this would be the one player who could do something about that. Seriously, if the Giants traded for Mike Trout tomorrow (Cory Gearrin straight up, you have my number), it would help the team sell more tickets, but not like Stanton would. He’s the perfect mix of name brand superstar and specific talents for a fan base that used to drink dingerade by the gallon.
So I get why the rumors won’t die. It makes sense. All of it. Except the part where the Giants would have to pay $25 million next year, plus the 40-percent competitive balance tax, plus the $30 million or so he’ll be owed every season until he’s 37. If you ignore that small detail, it makes total sense.
I wasn’t going to write the Heyman story up because I wasn’t sure if there was anything I could write that I hadn’t already, but there’s a wrinkle. The Miami Herald is reporting that, yes, the Marlins are very interested in ditching salary. Very interested.
According to a Major League Baseball source, Jeter and fellow owner Bruce Sherman proposed cutting the team’s 2018 payroll to around $90 million — down from last season’s franchise-record $115 million — as part of the operating plan they submitted to league owners during the approval process.
Let’s see ... if they’re at $115 million now, and they want to go down to $90 million ... that means ... hold on ... ah, they would need to cut $25 million.
Which seems awfully convenient, considering Stanton is owed $25 million. Awfully convenient, indeed.
The regular problems are still there. The Giants don’t have a top-, second-, or third- tier farm system, so they wouldn’t be able to compete with teams like the Yankees or Dodgers if the Marlins were willing to pay the salary down for better prospects. Their only hope continues to be if the Marlins are willing to give Stanton away for salary relief, and the Giants are the only team willing to absorb it.
I can’t see how that would happen, but it’s possible that I’m underestimating just how terrified other teams are of Stanton’s contract. Of all the suitors, I’d reckon the team with the aging, expensive lineup that’s under contract for the next several years that’s just over the competitive balance tax would be the most terrified. That would be the Giants.
As usual, we’ll end by acknowledging that the Giants are not going to get Giancarlo Stanton. He’s too expensive, and they have too many long-term commitments to players already in their 30s.
Still, the only way the Giants would compete for Stanton is if the Marlins wanted to dump salary, and there’s an article up there that suggests exactly that. That means Step 1 is complete. Just 477 increasingly unlikely steps to go.