Are you a fan of dingers? Is your team in need of a middle of the order bat that could hit say…60 or more dingers in a year? Does your team have a deep farm system to go along with financial stability willing to take a risk? If you answered yes to all three of those question, then Giancarlo Stanton might be a fit for your team! As everyone including some extraterrestrials who have encountered Stanton’s home run balls in orbit knows, he is mashing the ball now and shows no signs of slowing down. If he keeps this up he might go down as the best power hitter ever. Word on the street is that Stanton could be traded. The teams interested include the front runner Giants, followed by the Cardinals, Rangers, and Phillies. In addition to prospects being included in any deal, Stanton has an opt-out of his back-loaded $325 million contact after 2020. This is a big risk for any team.
Lets first take a look at the Giants situation.
This season, the Giants payroll is at about $183 million which ranks 6th in baseball. It does not go down too much next year, but by 2020 they will be down to $112 million . Obviously this would be subject to change with contract extensions (i.e. Bumgarner) and new signings. However, in a season where they are not competing, they can focus on developing youth and in a way “rebuild”. Pence is a free agent in 2019 and Span in 2020 leaving only Jarrett Parker who is the Giants best young outfielder, but he has not proven to be a replacement level player. When it comes their farm system, they are ranked 25th according to bleacher report. Their top prospect Christian Arroyo would likely be included in the deal. Arroyo is a 3B/SS who won Rookie Level Arizona League MVP, but did not perform too well in his brief stint in the big leagues in April. He is recovering from a broken hand but has tremendous upside. Following the trade of Hechevaria, Miami could use a shortstop, and Arroyo would fill the void. The Giants would also have to give up another top 10 prospect as well as a couple lower level players. Giants would definitely be in the market for a top tier power hitting bat. They have Posey, Belt, Crawford, and Panik at least through 2021. Adding Stanton while have average pitching in a pitchers ballpark would make the Giants legitimate contenders especially during even years. The financial capabilities are there as the Giants continually have high payrolls. It depends if they want to make a bad farm system even worse.
The Cardinals would be an interesting fit. They need a power hitting bat to keep up with the Cubs and Brewers over the course of the next half decade. The Cardinals have a solid farm system ranking 13th according to Bleacher Report. They hover around league average in terms of payroll but over the years have shown they will spend money when needed. However, the Cardinals are not big on having players with mega contacts. That is the reason they would not retain Pujols. The Cardinals currently have two contracts that span 6 years and those are Carpenter and Piscotty whose contracts did not break the bank. In terms of what prospects they would give up, it would have to include Luke Weaver or Alex Reyes as well as some middle infield prospect such as Delvin Perez or Edmundo Sosa. No doubt Stanton would be great, but the Cardinals do have Piscotty through 2024 and Fowler through 2022. Grichuk continues to struggle in the majors, so they might give up on him.
The Rangers do not have much better of a farm system than the Giants, Mazara is obviously their future in right field, but other than him they have no outfield depth. They have a lot of money poured into Hamels, Choo, and Andrus but their 2019 payroll as of now would be $74 million. Willie Calhoun would be a good fit in Miami as a prospect they will receive. He is a versatile player who is hitting around .300 this season in triple A. The Rangers are a dark horse in the Stanton sweepstakes, but they are arguably in the most need and have the financial ability to retain him. In addition, playing in Arlington would bode well for Stanton as it is the most hitter friendly park among these teams.
The Phillies of any of the teams should go after Stanton. They will have the financial abilities and they have the deepest farm system of the teams. Their farm system ranks 7th according to Bleacher Report. They would have to give up Mickie Moniak as well as some lower level prospects. Odubal Herrera is their only “big” contract at the time. Below is a table of each of these teams payrolls over the course of the years accounting for departures.
|Total Cap Allocations||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|Cardinals||$ 138,322,933.00||$ 120,333,333.00||$ 113,333,333.00||$ 119,333,333.00||$ 66,083,333.00|
|Rangers||$ 141,932,563.00||$ 102,333,333.00||$ 73,958,333.00||$ 54,583,333.00||$ 26,583,333.00|
|Phillies||$ 47,840,208.00||$ 3,350,000.00||$ 5,350,000.00||$ 7,350,000.00||$ 10,350,000.00|
Clearly the Phillies have the best outlook financially.
Trading for Stanton is a big risk for any team. Every team will have to give up a top prospect, but also will have to be able to afford Stanton’s contract. This would be huge for Miami to gain some youth while still have Yelich and Ozuna and unloading all that money. The Giants and Rangers have been big spenders in the past and could be again. The Phillies could unite Hoskins and Stanton as a duo to build a team around. The Cardinals, in my opinion, will be the least likely to land Stanton. We will just have to wait and see who, if anyone, takes the gamble on Stanton.