The New York Yankees shocked the baseball world with its soon-to-be official trade for Miami Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton. The reigning National League MVP is expected to waive his no-trade clause to depart for the Bronx after vetoing tentative deals to the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Panorama City Calif., native reportedly preferred a trade to his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers, but a deal was never consummated. The deal-breaker for the Dodgers front office was Stanton’s massive, record-setting contract that would’ve sent then well over the luxury tax threshold.
Any likelihood of a trade between the Dodgers and Marlins was further diminished by Miami’s goal of attaining salary relief as opposed to acquiring the best possible package of players and/or prospects for Stanton.
Per Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Dodgers offered the Marlins better prospects in a trade for Stanton than the Yankees and other pursuers:
Dodgers needed financial relief in Stanton talks due to luxury tax and debt service rule. So they tried to make up the $ gap compared to other bidders with better prospects. But their overall offer didnt come close to swaying marlins.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2017
The Dodgers reportedly attempted to unload some combination of Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy to the Marlins in order to offset Stanton’s contract, but it was to no avail.
Hypothetically, the Dodgers could’ve also dealt from its outfield surplus to not only make room for Stanton, but supply the Marlins with cheap, controllable talent for the long-term future.
Two names that come to mind are Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo, who would’ve found themselves on the periphery in the outcome of a Stanton trade. The Dodgers are also flush with young pitching prospects that could’ve appeased the Marlins in any potential deal for Stanton.
The Yankees eventually stepped up and agreed to absorb $265 million of Stanton’s remaining $295 million salary over a 10-year period. They sent veteran Starlin Castro and a pair of prospects to Miami to complete the blockbuster transaction.
While Stanton can opt out of his contract in three seasons, the Dodgers ultimately decided that the risk of assuming an exorbitant amount of salary wasn’t worth it, especially as the club attempts to stay under the luxury tax threshold for the 2018 season.