Sorry fans, but Giancarlo Stanton is not going to become a member of the Seattle Mariners.
I do not have any inside information, and if I turn out to be completely wrong, so be it.
My life is filled with mistakes, and I will be happy to admit that I have made another one, particularly if Stanton were to be miraculously introduced to the Seattle media as the newest member of the suddenly revitalized M’s.
This deal just seems completely unlikely, as noted by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
Granted, no one knows what happens behind the scenes. It seems logical that teams could purposely feed bits and pieces of misinformation to various individuals, just to keep other clubs on their toes.
No team wants to appear desperate in negotiations.
This is not about Giancarlo’s potential. The numbers are obviously impressive. Who wouldn’t want a guy who hit .290 with 37 home runs in 123 games last year? Lots of strikeouts, but that will improve with age, right?
Giancarlo could be one of those “once in a generation” hitters that makes fans think about the exciting days of Ken Griffey Jr. in his prime.
If you are the Marlins, why would you do this deal?
There is obviously the ongoing concern about keeping a player happy and re-signing them for the long term. However, that really shouldn’t be a major factor for Miami given that Giancarlo is not eligible (via Baseball-Reference.com) for free agency until 2017.
He will get a bump in salary once he is eligible for arbitration, but he will still be under club control. Stanton is the type of franchise player that you build a team around.
The tweet from Jim Bowden of ESPN is telling.
Let me translate that for you. The Marlins are not trading Stanton. People will listen to all sorts of outlandish ideas. That is called being polite.
However, in the end, all of these conversations will end with, “Thanks for the call...we’ll let you know.” Click.
It would, as astutely noted by Zachary D. Rymer, take a deal of Herschel Walker or Wayne Gretzky proportions.
That would seem to go against the philosophy of Seattle management, at least the strategy that has been employed in the last few years.
Again, I am assuming, but I feel confident that Jack Zduriencik has already fielded calls about the “big three” pitching prospects in the past. It is not a stretch to guess that Seattle could have already turned Paxton, Walker and Hultzen into batting prospects.
And yet, the Mariners have remained patient and stuck to a plan of building a winner from the ground up.
Larry Stone of The Seattle Times estimated that the Marlins might be willing to budge if the Mariners offered a massive package that included the likes of Walker, Hultzen, Nick Franklin, Kyle Seager and perhaps another prospect or two. In other words, 40 percent of your future rotation and potentially a third of your everyday lineup.
Clearly, a lot for one player. Talk about betting the farm.
But is that one player worth it? Can a team get stuck in a never-ending strategy of protecting those “hot young prospects,” only to find that many of them do not live up to the hype?
The tough part of being a GM is that most of these prospects have the most trade value before they prove themselves in the big leagues.
To do such a deal, Stanton would have a deliver dreamlike outcomes.
As in, Stanton arrives and hits 40-50 home runs per year and lowers his strikeout total. His presence inspires the lineup, and the team batting average quickly rises to .280, including 30 dingers each from Jesus Montero, Kendrys Morales and Michael Saunders.
The fans return, leading to a boost in revenue, which allows the Mariners to re-negotiate a lucrative new cable deal when they opt-out in a few seasons.
Seattle becomes a perennial playoff contender, and has enough money to sign both Stanton and Felix Hernandez to long-term deals.
The Mariners become an attractive free-agent destination. Stanton’s bat and King Felix’s arm lead the Mariners to a World Series championship in 2015.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Stanton to the Mariners is intriguing, and very interesting to discuss. Not going to happen.