This shouldn’t be a surprise. This is something we’ve expected all along. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when it’s put into words. The Giants expect Giancarlo Stanton to make a decision by the end of the week, and they’re more worried about the Dodgers than the Cardinals.
This can obviously change as it goes, but Giants expect a Stanton decision by the end of the week. I'm hearing they continue to view Dodgers, not Cardinals, as biggest threat.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) December 6, 2017
This would track with ... everything. The only thing that could be keeping Stanton from deciding would be either a) he wants to stay with the Marlins, or b) he wants to make sure the Dodgers have no interest in him. The first one isn’t likely, considering that Derek Jeter totally walks around Marlins Park with a coffee mug and suspenders, telling people that he’s going to need them to come in on Saturday. The second one is the monster under the bed.
All the Dodgers need to do is spend money, and they’ll have Giancarlo Stanton. The Giants are willing to do that, and it’s not enough yet. The Dodgers, why, they need only to pick up a phone and say some words into the receiver. It’s terrifying.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how I’m not buying the Dodgers’ newfound austerity. This is the franchise that spent a combined $117 million on Yasiel Sierra, Erisbel Arruebarrena, and Hector Olivera, and now they can’t scrounge up an additional $150 million or so to secure a 28-year-old MVP who is desperate to play for them? It makes absolutely no sense, regardless of their desire to slip under the luxury tax for a year. This is a rare opportunity for any team — the full attention of one of baseball’s youngest and most marketable stars — and this team happens to be the richest, highest-spending team in the land.
They’re creeping. And they’re quiet. They’re quiet creepers, and I don’t trust them a bit.
Then there’s the part where there’s still a chance the Dodgers can barely get under the luxury tax with Stanton if they convince the Marlins to take someone like Scott Kazmir back in the deal. They can have their cake and eat it too, and all they have to do is barf up some prospects.
That might be the catch, with the Dodgers playing it cool because they don’t want to give up their best prospects. If Stanton hasn’t officially declared that he’ll accept a deal to the Dodgers and only the Dodgers, there’s no reason for the Marlins to back off their demands for good prospects in return. And while Stanton has every right to declare that, he hasn’t yet. That makes me think he still has respect for the Marlins and/or their fans, and that he’s aware forcing his current team into a widely panned trade wouldn’t be the best look.
If it were me? Screw what the best look is, and let me sleep in my own bed, dammit. It’s probably a good thing I’m not Giancarlo Stanton, really. I’d take my shirt off during workplace meetings, too.
The only other answer is that the Dodgers really aren’t that interested, that they’re perfectly fine with their current roster and in love with their farm system, and they don’t need Stanton because, really, who needs an extra 59 homers these days? And now is when they realize they have spending limits, when the MVP of the National League is openly hoping you’ll pursue him.
I’m not buying it. The Dodgers are lowballing the Marlins, and this will continue until either Stanton demands a trade to his hometown team, or the Dodgers give in and match the prospects and money being offered by the Giants and Cardinals. Or maybe they can meet in the middle and everyone can be happy. Except for the Giants and Cardinals.
If there’s good news on the Stanton front, it’s this, from John Shea:
Evans confirmed the Giants came to terms with the Marlins on a trade for Stanton that has contingencies, including the right fielder approving it.
It’s done. All that needs to happen is for Stanton to say he wants to play for the Giants.
He’s not saying that yet, though, because he wants to play for his hometown team. I can’t blame him; I can only fear his eventual decision.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to google “Jay Bruce outfield arm” and crawl into a sewer.