Opinion

Phillies should just say ‘no’ to Giancarlo Stanton

Photo by Arturo Pardavila III

It’s uncommon for the league’s MVP and a 50+ home run hitter to hit the trade market just three years into a 13-year deal. It’s especially uncommon for said player to be traded to a division rival. But once the sale of the Miami Marlins to Derek Jeter and Co. was finalized, the rumors of Giancarlo Stanton to Philadelphia started to swirl.

There are many reasons why it makes sense for the Phillies to go after Stanton. There are also many reasons why it doesn’t.

For one, he is owed a lot of money, about $300 million over the next 10 years. The Phillies have a lot of it and there’s no doubt that majority owner John Middleton is more than ready to share his wealth, but it shouldn’t be now and it shouldn’t be on Stanton.

The Phillies may have the money but 10 years is a long time (the opt-out allows flexibility, but that’s on Stanton’s end). Ryan Howard’s contract was only for five years and we all know how that ended, so imagine being tied down for another five seasons. 2017 was the first time Stanton played nearly a whole season in his career. His 159 games was the most he played in his career, and he’s only reached 140 games three times. It’s also hard to imagine a power hitter like that won’t start to break down as the years go on.

While teams typically don’t trade players of Stanton’s caliber within their division, the new Marlins’ brass seems more concerned about what they can get back than from whom it comes. The Phillies have one of the deepest systems, with high-level prospects and young players at nearly every position.

Aside from taking on his contract, the Phillies would also have to give up some of that young talent in exchange for Stanton. General Manager Matt Klentak hasn’t held tight for this long to trade valuable pieces for a position that isn’t needed. The Phillies owe it to themselves – and these players – to see what a full season of Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr can do.

If the Phillies really want to spend money, they can just wait until next offseason when you can throw $400 million to the likes of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado without also losing players in return.

Stanton made it clear he wants to win now and while the Phillies made strides this past season, they clearly aren’t ready to compete for a title next season, with our without Stanton. Stanton might like the idea of playing at Citizens Bank Park (imagine the moonshots) but he has a full-no trade clause. He may want out of Miami but there are teams – like the Dodgers and Yankees – who are in the hunt and are much closer to winning than the Phils.

It’s tempting to take the bait. Klentak could snag the hottest player in the game and, in turn, instantly pack the stands and make his bosses – and fans – happy. But to trade for Stanton would require the front office to make a complete 180. This is a team who has been slowly climbing its way back to relevancy, evaluating internal talent and acquiring only the most necessary pieces to help out the current team with full focus on the future.

All eyes are on Stanton this offseason. It isn’t a matter of if he gets dealt, it’s a matter of where he’ll land.

It shouldn’t be Philadelphia.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. bruce

    November 24, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I agreed. Say “NO” to Stanton. Taking on the lengthy megabucks contract of Stanton and mortgaging the future of the Phillies farm system is not the way to go. Also there is the risk of acquiring a player who has a track record of injuries through out his career. the Phillies need to focus on developing a strong pitching rotation. Until that happens, the team will continue to struggle. The Phillies might as well borrow the NBA’s Sixers’ slogan “Trust The Process” in looking for the right arms to fulfill their starting rotation.

  2. Vernon Dozier

    November 24, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Just look at how bad the Howard deal was, or the back ends of the Pujols and Cabrera contracts. These types of contracts never end well.

  3. barry sucktero

    November 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    didn’t Stanton already say NO to the Phillies!

  4. Dennis O.

    November 25, 2017 at 11:47 am

    The author and the previous commenters are all crazy! I’d deal for Giancarlo Stanton in a heart beat! Living in Florida, I’ve witnessed via TV the type of damage he inflicts on the opposition on a daily basis. He just hit 59 home runs playing half his games in a spacious, ‘pitcher’s park’. Just think what he could do with a home park with cozy dimensions, like Citizens Bank Park. He’s one superstar who is worth an insanely, big long-term contract. Stanton is already more than living up to it.

  5. Mike Fassano

    November 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Just say No, Phillies. The amount of money doesn’t scare me as much as the amount of years. Plus it’s not an area where the Phillies need help (at least I hope not). Altherr and Herrera are just reaching their prime, and Williams is a rising star. Spend your money on pitching.

  6. Craig Glessner

    November 26, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    So Dennis who must work for the Marlin’s marketing team thinks everyone should just dump a truck of gold for one player. Unless Giancarlo has a sneaky good fastball we don’t need him. For that contract we could finance 4 all star players without giving up talent. Is he a great player yes but so was Ryan Howard when some genius gave him $ 20 million a year. Philly fans 2 words Ryan Howard just say no we already know how that movie ended up. Good try Dennis but if he is so great why is Jeter’s first move getting rid of him

  7. Jeffrey Orbach

    November 26, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    He’s never hit great at CBP either. I would only take him if we didn’t have give up a lot of talent. If the Marlins wanted us to p/u his contract I’d that but that’s about it.

    • Ken Bland

      November 28, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Jeffrey,

      I’ll pass on offering a pro or con position on acquiring Stanton, but I’ll say your lead evidence of not hitting well at CBP doesn’t draw me in. 35 career AB’s seems a light sample. Not even sure the same amount of at bats at Citi, or a good showing on 15 at bats in St. Louis is real conclusive either

      • schmenkman

        November 29, 2017 at 2:39 am

        Those are actually 2017 totals.

        Below are his career splits, including his two home parks (Marlins Park since 2012):

        Home:
        Marlins Pk (1576 PAs)…. .999 OPS, 112 HR (46 per 650 PAs)
        Sun Life (449 PAs)……. .825 OPS, 22 HR (32 per 650 PAs)

        Away:
        CBP (227 PAs)………… .753 OPS, 12 HR (34 per 650 PAs)
        All other (1868 PAs)….. .884 OPS, 121 HR (42 per 650 PAs)

        227 plate appearances is still a pretty small sample though, and I don’t know how conclusive it is.

        https://bbref.com/pi/shareit/3dxH0

        • Ken Bland

          November 29, 2017 at 7:54 am

          Well, it’s conclusive enough that I wouldn’t have disagreed with the point, but be that as it may, I stand corrected, and appreciate you catching my mistake. Should have realized all the low totals suggested I was misreading the reference.

  8. Jeff Orbach

    December 1, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The other point in not going after Stanton is that he can opt out after 2020. So if we did give up some decent minor league talent as well as the $$$, there would be no guarantee that he’d stay here past 2020.

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