When the annual General Managers meetings begin Monday, arguably the most-discussed name will be that of Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. He’s among the players the club reportedly is open to trading this offseason in effort to trim payroll.
Stanton signed a 13-year, $325 million contract in November 2014; a deal that includes an opt-out clause after the 2020 season. Should Stanton elect for free agency that winter, he would walk away from a staggering guarantee of $218 million.
Further complicating a potential trade is Stanton holds a complete no-trade clause. Beyond presumably accepting a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, his childhood favorite team, little is known where else would be enough for the the 28-year-old to waive his no-trade clause.
The St. Louis Cardinals fall into that category but nonetheless intend to explore a potential deal with the Marlins, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Both teams expect conversations to continue this week and gain clarity, with the Cardinals described by one source as “determined” in their interest
In addition to the Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have been connected to Stanton. The Cardinals went 83-79 this season, good for a third-place finish in the National League Central.
In December 2015, they saw Jason Heyward bolt to the rival Chicago Cubs on an eight-year, $184 million contract. The Cardinals returned the favor the following year by prying Dexter Fowler away from the Cubs.
Acquiring Stanton, a Silver Slugger Award winner, would undeniably strengthen the Cardinals lineup and potentially lead the club to the postseason for the first time since 2015.