I suppose I should be mad at the Yankees. From what I can gather, Giancarlo Stanton was seriously leaning toward accepting a trade to the Giants, and then the Yankees started poking around. As talks progressed, Stanton realized he would rather play with a young core of burgeoning superstars on a team that’s even richer than the Giants. I can’t blame him, even if I’ll never forgive him or the Yankees.
At the same time, Stanton is not on the Dodgers. I will forever be in the Yankees’ debt.
Even when it was likely that the Giants were going to trade for Stanton, it was never likely that the Giants were going to trade for Stanton. Does that make sense? It does in my head, and I was expecting the whole danged time for the Dodgers to swoop in at the last second.
If both (Stanton and Shohei Ohtani) spurn the Dodgers and Giants, I’ll do a little celebration shimmy. Because, yes, I wanted them on the Giants, but I stared into the dark abyss long enough to know what could have happened, too.
The Dodgers would have traded for Stanton a couple years ago, and it would have been miserable. Not because they would win more games than the Giants — they’ll do that until 2032, roughly — but because Stanton is an incredibly fun baseball player to watch. He’s an absolute delight, just about the perfect baseball player when it comes to sheer hold-on-I’ll-go-pee-in-five-minutes excitement, and the Dodgers don’t deserve that. They already have Clayton Kershaw. They already have a bunch of young players they drafted late and developed into superstars, which hardly seems fair. They didn’t need Stanton, who seems like he has a reasonable chance at the Hall of Fame.
I’m still upset by Blackest Friday, which will linger in our minds for the next several years. Every time the Giants are attached to this superstar or that one in free agency, we’ll remember the time we were dumb enough to think they had a shot at Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton.
What do the Giants do now? Look, it probably doesn’t matter. They aren’t going to get a young player who will be around for the next great team (Domingo Santana would be delightful, but they don’t have the prospects), which means they’re going to spend money or make a trade that we tepidly approve of, at best. And they don’t have a ton of money, so there goes that idea. The best-case scenario is something like Todd Frazier for too much money and Billy Hamilton for too many prospects, which sure isn’t the same thing as Stanton and ohtani. Some baseball observers might think that it’s actually much worse, but only time ... will tell.
Still, Stanton isn’t on the Dodgers. Ohtani isn’t on the Dodgers. All the Dodgers have is their absurdly talented and young team that will win for the next decade, so the joke is on them. If the Giants aren’t going to have these supremely watchable players, at least they won’t either.