If true, Stanton-to-Giants rumors could affect NL West for years to come

This season, Major League Baseball has seen a new trend in the National League West. The San Francisco Giants are in dead last and look as though they are ready for a complete rebuild. They sit a monstrous 40.5 games out of first place and have already been eliminated from the division race with more than a month remaining in the regular season. They have struggled at every turn this year, especially after losing ace Madison Bumgarner to a dirt bike accident three weeks (four starts) into the 2017 season. At the trade deadline, the Dodgers biggest rivals elected to keep their team intact instead of trading or selling off some of their aging veterans to begin a much-needed franchise rebuild.

However, this morning it was being widely reported on social media that the struggling franchise is considering a move which, quite frankly, caught the entire baseball world by surprise. It was reported that the Giants were making the “strongest push” to acquire Miami Marlins slugger and Southern California native Giancarlo Stanton this coming off-season.

This news is surprising for a number of reasons:

First of all, the Giants farm system is probably one of the worst I have ever seen. Having only one prospect in the top 100, who has already been in the majors this year, the team is not ready by any means to use what they have in house to get better in a few years. Due to the lack of talent in the minor leagues, the Giants have absolutely nobody that would entice the Marlins and cause them to trade their best player. And should the Giants make a deal that involves prospects, it would decimate a farm that they really don’t even have at any of their minor league levels.

Second, the Giants made one thing very clear this past trade deadline. They would not, under any circumstances, trade any of Bumgarner, Buster Posey, or Brandon Crawford. I get that. They do not want to trade their three best players so as to have foundation pieces in place when they actually begin their rebuild. Giancarlo Stanton is far and away on a different level than any of these three so-called untouchables. He is hitting close to .300 with 50 home runs at the end of August. Any trade that would send him to San Francisco would most definitely involve at least one and perhaps even all three of these untouchable (and franchise) players. Losing any of these players does exactly what the Giants have purposely been avoiding – breaking up the team’s core.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton crushed his 50th home run of the season on Sunday afternoon against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park. Ironically, the team that once had all-time single-season home run record-holder Barry Bonds (72) is reportedly pursuing the Southern California native.
(Photo credit: Wilfredo Lee – Click on image to view video)

A trade that would involve their core three players would blow up the process of a rebuild. They must keep these three in the system for they are really all the team has at this point. And sure, people may be able to argue that the Giants will trade their other major league pieces in this deal but that to is flawed. Almost all of their major league talent fall into three types of players.

The first is the untouchables. They require no further explanation because we all know who they are and why they are in this category. The second type are players who are talented but have contracts that are well above their level of performance. Someone like Johnny Cueto, who is signed through 2021 with a massive dollar commitment but owns a 4.59 ERA. Then there is the third group. These are the guys who have dirt cheap contracts but are not valuable to any team due to their level of play. So, say the Giants offered a trade with a handful of type two players, some types three guys, and a couple prospects. The Marlins would never take this deal because they would essentially be taking on dead money and players who are honestly worthless.

Finally, while Stanton would help any team he joins, his contract poses yet another issue. Stanton is signed through 2027 and is still owed roughly 295 million dollars. While the Giants would not be taking on all of this money, they would still be liable for a good chunk of it, thus taking them out of the race for other big name free agents for many years to come. By adding Stanton to the checkbook, the Giants would also be left to pay for their contracts that are already on the books as well as a piece of the biggest contract in baseball.

At this point, here is what we are left with. Say they do make this trade. For arguments sake, it is Giancarlo Stanton for Madison Bumgarner and the top three organization minor leaguers. That leaves the Giants without their best pitcher and leaves them with zero top 100 prospects.

For a team that has lost so much this year, adding the most expensive contract in baseball will not make them contenders again. They will lose whatever remaining trade pieces that they have and will be left with one outfielder who will far outplay his surroundings. The Giants will be removed from the free agent market and that, too, is detrimental to the final stages of their rebuild. And even though Stanton is an incredible player, his potential history-making bat alone will not turn a team with a sub .400 win percentage into an instant NL West contender, especially against a Dodgers team – and farm system – that is built for today and for the future.

Stanton trade or not, Dodger fans are probably safe in not being too concerned about the Giants anytime soon. That being said, it sure would be interesting seeing Giancarlo in a Dodgers uniform, wouldn’t it.

Just saying.


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12 Responses to “If true, Stanton-to-Giants rumors could affect NL West for years to come”

  1. Respect the Rivalry says:

    No matter how it’s looked at one or both teams would be making a foolish deal. A trade to the Giants would leave Stanton in a worse situation than he’s already in.
    IMHO, the only chance the Giants have of being competitive in the near future is just what they won’t do. Only Bummer and Posey, and maybe Crawford, can get them the top prospects they need. But they’d need to find a team who has enough of the pieces they need, or can participate in a multi-team deal.
    The Dodgers can make a trade, but why would they? They don’t need a catcher, shortstop, or LHP. I’m not so sure Bummer could survive sharing a clubhouse with Puig anyway.
    Personally, I’m sorry to see the Giants in this situation. What fun is a rivalry when one is on top, the other at the bottom? The season is supposed to end at Dodger Stadium or ATT with the division on the line.
    Ever since the WC was established I’ve looked forward to a Dodger/Giant NLCS.

  2. SoCalBum says:

    So many reasons why Stanton to Giants seems far fetched, including that Stanton has a full no trade clause that he and his representatives are not likely to give up without some form of additional compensation. Right now the Marlins are much closer to playing in the post season than the Giants, so Stanton would not be inclined to waive his no trade in order to go to an inferior team. It would not surprise me for Stanton to waive his no trade rights in order to join the Dodgers, his hometown team, but I do not see the Dodgers taking on his massive contract unless the Marlins retain $75MM to $100MM, or take back a number of bad contracts from Dodgers to offset the $295MM still owed to Stanton.

  3. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Good discussion piece Jacob. I think you are smack dab on in that the Giants simply do not have the assets to acquire Stanton. It would be counterproductive in both the short term and long term for the them.

    As others have mentioned, Stanton is in control of where he plays and SF is most likely way down on his list of preferred venues.

    I would love to see Stanton in Dodger Blue but I don’t think he is needed for them to make a run at a WS championship on a consistent basis. They can fill gaps with less expensive and very versatile pieces as needs appear.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      “Good discussion piece Jacob.”

      Told you so.
      ; )

    • Jacob Rudner says:

      Thank you for reading! I agree that Stanton is not a good fit for the Dodgers for his contract is huge and even though he is amazing, the price for him would be astronomical. Further on that point, should Stanton be traded to one of the other NL West teams it could actually benefit the Dodgers as other teams would almost certainly blow the farm, give away big league talent, and be removed from free agency due to lack of money.

  4. CruzinBlue says:

    Giancarlo will always have his plaque in the left field pavilion, right?

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      Best batting practice hitter I’ve ever seen – next to Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, that is.

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