You have weeks more of this. You will be buried with Giancarlo Stanton trade rumors, with your outstretched, frozen claw sticking out of the dirt in protest. And I, for one, will not apologize. These calories might be empty, but they’re sweet on the tongue before they go down.
Today’s entry comes from Craig Mish, the Florida-based SiriusXM radio host who gave us the names the Giants might be discussing in different trade permutations. He appeared on a St. Louis radio show and gave us more rumor morsels. Here’s a transcript (starting at 12:22):
Here’s my belief on the situation. I believe that the Giants are willing to do everything and anything to get Stanton, which would also include taking on the entire contract. And so that has them as favorites right now, with obviously the Cardinals in second, the Dodgers in third, unless the Dodgers really want to get serious about it. The Red Sox have to be mentioned.
I think that when the Giants’ offer comes in, the Cardinals will probably be in the conversation. How far are the Cardinals willing to go to get this done? Are they willing to take on the whole deal and willing to give up better players than what the Giants are?
I would file this under “informed speculation” instead of “confirmed fact,” but it would make some level of sense. The Giants can’t out-prospect another team. They can only outspend them. And if the Cardinals aren’t willing to take on the entire contract — or if they aren’t willing to part with the kinds of prospects they would part with if Stanton came at a 75-percent discount — the Giants will always have a chance. That’s before you get to the no-trade clause, which reportedly gives them an advantage for playing on the empirically preferable side of the country.
This brings us back to the Stanton Paradox that started this. One of my points explaining why the Giants wouldn’t be interested last summer.
Which means in order to outbid those teams, the Giants would have to take Stanton’s entire contract AND the Marlins’ only goal would have to be ditching said contract.
Since then, there have been developments. The Jeter-led Marlins really want to bring their costs down now that they’ve plunked down a billion dollars. They’re not being quiet about it. They really do care about ditching the contract as much as, if not more, than the prospect return.
But I’m still skeptical that the Giants would be interested in taking that entire contract on. It’s a lotta clams for a team that will pay Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija a lotta clams, while trying to figure out how they’ll keep Madison Bumgarner.
I’m also skeptical that the Giants are willing to take on the entire contract because Stanton cleared waivers in August. It’s possible that the Giants were gambling that no one was going to take the contract, which meant there was a chance they could get some sort of discount after all. It was a risk to let him go then, but now they’re able to bargain in a way that still gives them a chance at that discount. Maybe?
One thing I keep forgetting is that Stanton has an opt-out clause in three years. It’s possible the Giants are assuming this is really more of a three year, $90 million deal. I can’t imagine that they would act on those assumptions after the Cueto contract, though.
Regardless, here’s a report that suggests the Giants are so hot ‘n’ heavy on Stanton that they’re willing to absorb his market-price contract, possibly while still giving up some prospects. Seems like it’s unlikely.
Still, of all the players in baseball, this one sure matches up with a franchise that’s freaking out about declining attendance. It’s possible that the Giants have a Stanton-or-bust plan after all. Here’s something that suggests they’re willing to pay retail for that plan.