It's almost as simple as first grade math.
The Texas Rangers have a terrific farm system.
The Arizona Diamondbacks want a good, young shortstop.
The Miami Marlins are unloading every player making at least $1 and getting prospects in return.
Has it ever been simpler than that? For the Rangers, not really. They have the pieces to make their own big trade, but they continue to stand firm. They don't want to trade Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar for anybody.
However, they're willing to trade Mike Olt and the latest attempt to trade him didn't go through, as the Atlanta Braves didn't want to send young shortstop Andrelton Simmons to Texas for Olt. So barring the chance of landing another prospect shortstop, if Texas wants to make a move, it'll have to unload either Andrus or Profar.
The reason that the Rangers wanted to get Simmons in a trade for Olt was to make him the main trade chip to Arizona, where Texas would get All-Star outfielder Justin Upton. If the Rangers traded Andrus or Profar to Arizona, Upton might be the newest Texas center fielder.
There's that simple math again, but the Rangers have made it clear: They will not part ways with either shortstop.
But thanks to the Marlins' latest fire sale sending Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and others up north to Toronto, could Giancarlo Stanton be the next to go?
This does raise interesting questions, however, and a lot of speculation in the process. The Rangers are preparing for life without Josh Hamilton and are focusing on bringing in Zack Grienke. Texas will need an outfielder.
The math makes sense again.
But if everyone is going to play their own game of speculation, let's do it too. If you had the opportunity to get one of these young, up-and-coming stars, who would you take?
Both can hit for power, both can hit for contact. Stanton just turned 23 on Tuesday, Upton turned 25 in August. Both are in desperate need for a change of scenery, playing for franchises that lost the success they once had.
Yet the biggest difference between the two, and the main component that could come into play if Texas wants to make a move, is the contract situation. Upton is in the middle of a five-year, $60 million deal. Stanton, on the other hand, is nearing the last year of his rookie deal.
Texas can get Stanton for very cheap while it attempts to get Grienke and it can work its way to a deserving contract for him. And he does deserve a major pay day coming his way.
You can't go wrong with either guy, but I'd take Stanton just because of the upside at a young age. Upton's already been in the league for a good number of years and he hasn't found that consistent production that would make him a top star.
The Rangers shouldn't be afraid to shop either guy, unless they're willing to make a move midseason. But what do you think? Who would you rather see Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan make a play for?