Raising Questions

Could the Phillies land Giancarlo Stanton?

Photo by Arturo Pardavila III

The Miami Marlins have recently been overheard saying that that they’re “willing to listen on anyone” as it relates to trades. The Phillies could be the ones they’re listening to. After all, the Marlins have quite a few assets the Phillies should be interested in: Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton to name a few.

So could the Phillies land the biggest fish of them all? Could the Phillies reel in Giancarlo Stanton?

First, any trade for Stanton would be risky because he has an opt out of his potentially enormous contract and a full no-trade clause.

That said, the no-trade clause may not be an issue now, as since the Marlins are looking to rebuild and are apparently taking offers on their other two best players, Ozuna and Yelich. So Stanton may just decide that he’d like to be on a team that finishes above .500 for once, something the Marlins have never accomplished while he’s been there.

Meanwhile Stanton had negotiated the right to, if he wishes, become a free agent after the 2020 season, although in doing so he’d be forfeiting a guaranteed $233 million for the next eight years of his service. The Phillies wouldn’t know if they were acquiring three years of Stanton or 11 years.

It’s because of that contract that the Marlins may be apt to deal Stanton, but Stanton’s contract may be a concern for potential buyers. The Phillies, however, are one of the few teams in baseball that could both afford this contract and have the prospects to get a deal with the Marlins done.

Would they want to?  It would obviously depend on the prospect price, but sure, it’s definitely worth looking in to. Stanton has been one of baseball best producers over the last seven years. Since entering the league in 2010 he is ninth in wRC+, fourth in slugging percentage and eighth in OPS among qualified batters. He is also still very young at age 27.

It would most likely take a fair amount of prospects to get a deal done but maybe not as much as one might think. His price may be tempered by both his large contract, the aforementioned option to end the contract early and his injury history. Stanton has played more than 125 games only twice in his seven-year MLB career.

Any package would most likely start with J.P. Crawford and at least one other top-10 prospect. A Crawford/Franklyn Kilome/JoJo Romero package is a start. Comparable trades over the years, like those involving Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson, have somewhat set the bar for this type of deal and are similar to that type of package. While it would be a steep price the Phillies system would still be stocked with talented young players like Sixto Sanchez, Jorge Alfaro and Rhys Hoskins, with which to continue building around. Also, because of the Phils’ financial flexibility, they wouldn’t be hamstrung to acquire other free agents during Stanton’s tenure.

Players like Stanton create a ripple effect throughout the lineup, essentially making the players who hit in front of them better by getting them more pitches to hit. He also would provide the much-needed veteran leadership this young core could look to for guidance and support. The Phils are going to need someone like him, and you could do worse. A lot worse.

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