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The Giants are reportedly discussing Joe Panik in Giancarlo Stanton trade scenarios

There’s a catch, though. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Miami Marlins v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

If you’re interested in Giancarlo Stanton trade rumors, I would like to present a list of names that were bandied about by a Florida-based radio host with more sources than you:

Remember your safe rumor-viewing practices, people. Use special glasses or do something pointless and lame with a cardboard box, but never look at the rumor directly.

The first thing to point out is this isn’t a trade proposal. Mish isn’t saying the Giants exchanged these names for these names. He’s just revealing that these are some of the names that the teams are talking about, and that makes a lot of sense. Of course the Giants have discussed Beede and Shaw in a deal. And considering that Panik is their only young, low-cost regular, of course he’s come up, too. This is how trade discussions work.

At the same time, I’m skeptical of the idea of Gordon. While I’ll begrudgingly admit that he’s a slightly better player than Panik (worth an extra WAR every year, on average), he’ll make more than $7 million more next season. Forget that Gordon is owed $28.1 million for 2019 and 2020, too, which is likely to be much more than Panik gets in arbitration. Just focus on 2018, when the Giants want to reset the luxury tax penalties. A Gordon trade would make that substantially harder. It wouldn’t just make it impossible for the Giants to get Stanton and stay under the cap; it would make it nearly impossible for them to get Jake McGee, or whichever left-hander they secretly covet.

And for what? More speed? I can dig the 60 stolen bases, but not at the cost of other moves this offseason. This part of the rumor doesn’t track.

No, I’m guessing it went something like this: The Giants offer names, the Marlins bring up the Giants’ only young, low-cost position player, the Giants respond with something like, “Eh, he’s not untouchable, but that’d open up another hole,” with the Marlins conveniently explaining they are also looking to shed Gordon’s salary. This most certainly counts as “names exchanged.” Ayyyyy, they’re just spitballin’ here.

But it doesn’t make sense when it comes to the Giants’ goals, which are ...

  1. To get Stanton
  2. To somehow squeak under the luxury tax

Number two is negotiable if the first one is possible. But unless the price for Stanton is “here, take this contract, too,” I’m having trouble seeing it, especially since that would affect the money the Giants or any other team can take back in the Stanton deal, which is the whole point of trading him in the first place.

I’m standing by my wild guess from Friday, which is that Denard Span has to be included in any deal. It wouldn’t hurt the Marlins if they’re expecting to send cash over for Stanton anyway (just releasing Span would be the same thing as sending $15 million over in the trade), but it would very much help the Giants and their quest to stay under the luxury tax in 2018. Considering the logistics, I just don’t see how Gordon fits into this at all.

In a complex three-team deal that sends Matt Moore or Jeff Samardzija somewhere for salary relief? Okay, sure, but now we’re getting into messageboard fake-trade territory.

The other names in this deal make plenty of sense, of course. The Marlins aren’t going to be shy about asking for prospects, and the Giants can’t be cute about naming any of them untouchables. I enjoy the Giants having an actual power prospect, too, but they don’t have prospects so great that the Marlins are willing to hand over $50 million in a trade. Beede would be a logical inclusion in any deal, too. Anyone in the Giants’ system is fair game, from Shaw to Beede to the guy you’re thinking about right now. And if the Marlins are keen on Panik for whatever reason, he has to be discussed, too. This is the cost of doing business with a farm system that’s less than ideal.

Those are some names being exchanged, alright. But that’s not the trade proposal. And some of the names involved don’t make sense when examined under a microscope, specifically Gordon’s. Still, if you’re wondering what the latest Stanton-to-the-Giants rumor is, it looks like this. Consider yourself up to speed.