Giancarlo Stanton is 27 years old, is on pace to hit 60 home runs this season, and is without question Miami’s best player.
But if the Marlins are smart, Jeff Passan said, they’ll trade him – for a number of reasons.
“First off, I think he wants to go,” the Yahoo! Sports columnist said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “Second – and this is more important – the Marlins, as Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter take over, are in an unenviable position. That unenviable position is two-fold. One, they’ve got quite a bit of money locked up long-term into players – beyond Stanton, whose contract is going up to $25 million next year.”
Indeed, there’s Dee Gordon (five years, $50 million). And Martin Prado (three years, $40 million). And Christian Yelich (seven years, $45 million). And Wei-Yin Chen (five years, $80 million). And Edinson Volquez (two years, $22 million), who will miss all of next season with Tommy John surgery.
“Out of all of those, only Stanton and Christian Yelich’s contract look good right now, so there’s a lot of money locked up,” Passan said. “The problem is there’s not a lot of money coming in. When you have the revenue streams that lead to a payroll that should be $100-110 million – and one guy making $25 million – that’s just not a sustainable thing long-term in modern baseball when you do not have a farm system worth talking about, and the Marlins may have the worst in baseball. It’s a really, really bad farm system.
“So in order to rebuild this team the way it needs to be rebuilt – not through a fire sale or anything like that, but to do it in the proper fashion – Miami needs to say goodbye to Giancarlo Stanton,” Passan continued. “I know that’s a difficult thing for Marlins fans to swallow, but for the long-term health of his team, that’s the best thing for it to do.”
Passan said there could be up to a half dozen suitors for Stanton, whose 13-year, $325-million contract runs though 2028.
“If you go and look up and down at the contenders, there’s really not a good fit,” Passan said. “I think you could make a good argument in favor of the Washington Nationals with Stanton there – as both a complement and fill-in and insurance for Bryce Harper this year, and insurance as well should Bryce Harper leave after the 2018 season when he’s a free agent. Getting players of that ilk is a really difficult thing to do, and if it means taking on some extra money, I think that would be a worthwhile investment for them to make. But 10 years at $295 million, which is what’s left on Stanton’s contract, is an awfully large pill to swallow.”