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Guessing at what the Giants might offer for Giancarlo Stanton

If the Giants and Marlins are getting closer on the framework of a deal, there’s probably a fair amount being offered.

MLB: Miami Marlins at San Francisco Giants
More hugs, for one.
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been at least 473 days since we first heard the names Joe Panik, Chris Shaw, and Tyler Beede come up in Giancarlo Stanton trade rumors. Somehow, this has become something of a fixation, as if it’s the actual trade package. It almost certainly isn’t. Read the original tweet again:

Names exchanged. I understand how that might be confusing — if the Giants wrote the names down on a list and said “here’s the exact offer,” that would be exchanging names — but it almost certainly is more of an incomplete list of players the teams are discussing. Panik, in particular, makes very little sense for the Marlins. Yesterday’s rumor that the Marlins would certainly take a deal like that was very good content, but I’m not sure it was especially helpful in determining what the actual trade package.

The only thing we know is that there’s something in the trade offer that the Marlins like. Jon Heyman writes as much:

Reporting on negotiations between the interested teams and the Marlins has been sparse, but while there was a suggestion reported late Thursday that a deal wasn’t necessarily imminent, sources say the Marlins do at least like what the Giants are offering in a potential trade.

I don’t think that the potential trade is Panik/Beede/Shaw. Henry Schulman continues to hear that isn’t the offer, too. Our job today is to figure out who is in the offer. We’ll assess a percentage of likelihood for most of the possible players (or financial terms!) involved.

The Giants taking at least $250 million of Giancarlo Stanton’s contract: ~99%

This is the only reason the Giants are in the discussion. Their farm system is at least in the bottom-third of baseball, if not closer to the very bottom. One of the worst parts about 2017, other than all of the worst parts, was that there were comically few breakthroughs and positive developments in the minor leagues. For every Chris Shaw, who seemingly took a step forward, it felt like there were six steps backward.

No, the Giants are finalists because they’re willing to give the Marlins what they really want: financial relief.

The minor league field - 95%

These are the one or two prospects we haven’t heard a rumor about yet, the ones the Marlins’ scouts have taken a liking to. This is how the Giants ended up with Casey McGehee and the Marlins ended up with Luis Castillo. It’s how the Reds ended up with Adam Duvall. More importantly, this is how most deals get consummated without prospects that we remember

I was really optimistic about Felix Diaz and his changeup, everybody.

The Marlins and Giants have probably agreed on at least one name like Aramis Garcia, C.J. Hinojosa, or Garrett Williams. I’m not saying it’s one of those three, but that it’s one or two of the names below Heliot Ramos on this list.

Denard Span - 85%

Don’t laugh. It’s an accepted conclusion that even the Giants will get some money back, at least, but if they get $15 million in cash to apply to Stanton’s contract, that lowers their luxury tax figure by only $1.5 million every year. If they trade Span, they get that same tax figure lowered by about $10.3 million (the average of Span’s contract) this year, which is what they’re explicitly worried about.

Moving Span would help the Giants a ton, and the only hit to the Marlins is that they would have to pay this money in 2018 instead of spread it out over a decade. It’s either Span or Hunter Pence who makes sense in this scenario, and only one of them isn’t a fan favorite with a no-trade clause.

Heliot Ramos - 80%

I can’t see the Marlins not holding out for the Giants’ most desirable prospect. I can’t see the Giants moving on from Stanton in order to save him. The upside for a team with few prospects is that they don’t have to lose a lot of young players they’ll truly miss. The downside is that when they have one of those players, the other team can zero in on him quickly and not let go.

If the Giants are really serious about ending this competition early — and even though it feels like it’s been six months, it really is still early — they’ll have to part with at least one potential future star. This is the only one the Giants have to offer.

Chris Shaw - 70%

Just a horrible fit for the Giants, considering that a) he’s left-handed and b) almost certainly limited to first base, where there’s already a long-term solution. Don’t like Brandon Belt? Okay, here’s someone who also hits 400-foot outs and 425-foot doubles, but is about 40 points lighter in the OBP category. Enjoy.

That isn’t to say that Shaw isn’t a valuable prospect; it’s to say that his value to the Giants is likely to be maximized in a trade for someone who fits the team/ballpark better.

I would like to go on record as saying that Stanton fits the team very well.

Tyler Beede - 60%

He isn’t thought of as a future no. 1 (or a no. 2) anymore, but this would be someone who could appear in Miami this year. That’s the most important rule of trading away an All-Star: Always get at least one player in the deal who should help the team immediately. It’s a psychological thing.

At the same time, the Giants are counting on Beede in some capacity this year. Maybe not counting on him, but enjoying the idea of him being able to help. They’d love to hold on to him and fortify the deal with more quantity than quality at the back end.

Hunter Strickland - 40%

He’s cheap and valuable. If the Marlins wanted to use him in the late innings, that would make sense. If they wanted to trade him for younger, shinier things, that would also make sense.

The only reason he’s not higher is because I’m sure the Giants would like to employ him and not futz around with more bullpen moving pieces this offseason than they already have to.

Christian Arroyo - 35%

Now this is the kind of prospect that a team can quietly shuffle to the back of the deck in any discussion. He’s not a blue-chipper, and it’s hard to imagine the Marlins making him a point of no return. Yet the Giants are still enamored of him and would like the security he offers by being able to play several infield positions, which is a skill that a contending team might need immediately.

He might be more valuable to the Giants in 2018 than the Marlins, in other words.

The 40-man roster field - 15%

Apart from the players here, we’re talking guys like Ty Blach, Chris Stratton, Jarrett Parker, or Kelby Tomlinson. They’re not going to be centerpieces, but maybe the Marlins really like one of them.

I mean, Mac Williamson is also a huge outfielder with the ability to hit towering home runs. That should help the Marlins in this transition, right?

Joe Panik - 10%

A fine, inexpensive player under team control for three more years, but what would the Marlins do with him? It’s not a hot market for second basemen, so they wouldn’t want to flip him. He’s getting expensive, so it’s not like he’s the perfect replacement for Dee Gordon, who might be traded in that lukewarm second base market.

This part never made sense, other than the part where he’s just about the only player of obvious surplus value the Giants have on their 25-man roster.

Brandon Belt - 1%

Only if the Marlins agree to eat a ton of money and figure this is the best way to do it. It’s still hard to see the Giants giving up one of their only productive hitters in this deal, unless they’re seeing something about Chris Shaw’s development in Triple-A that wasn’t obvious to the rest of us. The Marlins wouldn’t want him, so they would just do this to give him to ... the people who realize that Eric Hosmer is just a healthier Belt and want to save money? Still working on that part.

My guess is still something like Heliot Ramos, Chris Shaw, Denard Span, one prospect from the middle of the system, and maybe someone from the 25-man roster who isn’t in the starting lineup or rotation. It’s a lot, considering that the Giants are also likely to absorb that contract. But it’s not like the Marlins are without leverage here, either, and the Giants are clearly pushing their way to the front of the line. They have to be doing that somehow, and it isn’t just about the money.

It’s only mostly about the money.