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Bob Nightengale thinks the Giants are Giancarlo Stanton’s preferred landing spot

The USA Today writer told KNBR that he’s convinced the Giants will start next season with either Stanton or J.D. Martinez. Okay.

San Francisco Giants v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Giancarlo Stanton is not getting traded to the Giants. I feel like that disclaimer is necessary before every one of these posts, but I still write them because people click and I’m shameless. Unless the Giants are willing to eat nearly all of the $300 million remaining on his contract — which they aren’t — they won’t have the prospects to compete with the other teams.

Bob Nightengale adds another wrinkle to this tale, though. While it’s obvious that the Giants would have at least some interest in Stanton, he suggested in an interview on KNBR that the feeling is mutual.

“The Dodgers have no interest. They are trying to cut payroll and everything else. He’s not going to the Dodgers, there’s no chance of that happening, so I think it’s either San Francisco, St. Louis or Philadelphia, and San Francisco is easily his first choice.”

As far as I know, Nightengale has never been wrong.

Never. Been. Wrong.

What makes this an intriguing wrinkle is that I can believe it. San Francisco really is a nice place to play. Lots of fans. Cosmopolitan city. Stanton is from Southern California, so it’d be a return to the best coast. And when it comes to AT&T Park, Stanton has already proven that he isn’t intimidated.

Stanton came back in a minute or two, and that’s when it happened. It sailed on a parabola over the left-field bleachers, onto a causeway, landing in a tiny little replica of AT&T Park, where kids play whiffle ball. That’s where they put the playground because baseballs are not supposed to go there. The children were never supposed to be in jeopardy. There was no reason for anyone think they were ever going to be in jeopardy. When they designed the play area, someone had to have asked if they were worried about home runs landing in it, and everyone probably laughed.

I’ve seen him spit in the face of AT&T Park, and I’ve seen AT&T Park say, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” He would be fine here.

Where I take issue with the rumor, though, is this part of Nightengale’s interview:

You know they’ve got plenty of money

They ... kind of don’t. They would blow past the salary-cap tax with Stanton this year, and they would owe well over $100 million to over-30 players in 2020, and that’s without factoring in a possible extension for Madison Bumgarner. The Giants used to be able to count on sellouts, but them days is long gone. Counting on Stanton to be the dinger salve for their wounds makes a certain amount of sense, but it’s a huge risk. Like, the kind of risk that ends up with a garage sale in a few years because the team can’t pay the rent.

On the other hand ... dingers!

Stanton has a no-trade clause, so if this is accurate, it’s important. It wouldn’t matter if the Cardinals or Phillies wanted him if he wants to live in California, like a responsible person. If he wants to be on the Giants, and if the Giants are willing to pay for him, there might be something there.

There is not something there. But you clicked. And, more importantly, you at least thought of Stanton on the Giants for a few minutes. It allowed you to dream. It’s like the gift of a $1 lottery ticket, and you got to dream about your house in Tiburon for a little bit. There’s no reason to be ashamed.

Later in the article, Nightengale suggests that if the Giants can’t get Stanton, that they’ll definitely get J.D. Martinez. That’s probably worthy of its own article, but I really can’t see that. He’s going to get goofy-town money and cost draft picks, while being older and coming off an unexpectedly brilliant season. For now, though, focus on the idea that Stanton might want to come to the Giants. You might say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.