In the weeks the Miami Marlins have spent shopping Giancarlo Stanton, the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals have largely emerged as the most aggressive suitors. Both clubs were believed to have engaged the Marlins in trade talks at the annual General Manager Meetings.
As much legwork as the Cardinals and Giants have put in, which includes meeting with Stanton’s representatives in Los Angeles in the past couple of days, it’s difficult to gauge whether any progress has been made. The 2017 National League MVP holds a full no-trade clause.
It was previously reported Stanton would not approve a deal to join the Boston Red Sox or Cardinals. Moreover, it’s believed his preference is to be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team Stanton grew up rooting for.
As the saga continues to take on multiple twists, there’s a belief Stanton would approve a trade to the Giants over the Cardinals, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
One person said he “didn’t see any way” he’d accept the Cardinals but added the disqualifier that he can’t say he knows for sure. Another opined that he’d “100 percent” take the Giants over the Cardinals if that’s the choice, and yet another suggested the Midwest, behind the most preferred West Coast and East Coast, is his “last choice.”
Two others who have some familiarity with the situation gave similar responses. Of course, none of them know for sure (as one pointed out), a lot can change, possibly depending on the presentations.
Among the complex layers to any potential Stanton trade is the Marlins’ goal. They have a clear desire to slash payroll for the 2018 season, and unloading Stanton’s contract reportedly is taking precedent over their haul for the slugger.
That is said to align with the Giants’ willingness to take on the majority of Stanton’s remaining salary — $295 million over 10 seasons. As for Stanton, his top priorities are playing for a contender and on the West Coast.
The Dodgers best fit that description, but their objective of getting under the luxury tax threshold doesn’t mesh with the Marlins looking to avoid being on the hook for Stanton’s contract.