The team most likely to give the Marlins everything but the kitchen sink is the Seattle Mariners.
Since the Mariners announced they were moving the fences in at Safeco Field for the 2013 season, they have built their offseason plans around adding more offense. Considering how the Mariners have fared scoring runs the last five years, it's understandable why the Mariners want to add more juice to their attack:
2012: .234 batting average (worst in baseball), 3.82 runs per game (27th out of 30 teams)
2011: .233 (last), 3.43 runs (30th)
2010: .236 (last), 3.17 runs (30th)
2009: .258 (24th), 3.95 runs (28th)
2008: .265 (13th), 4.14 runs (26th)
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik has already signed former All-Star outfielders Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez and traded for Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, but none of them are Stanton, a crown jewel on any team.
Bay hasn't been productive since 2009, his last season with the Boston Red Sox. Ibanez's last great year also happens to be 2009 when he hit .272 with 34 home runs and 93 RBI in his first season as a Philadelphia Phillie. Morse is 30, set to be a free agent after the 2013 season and has had one good year (.303 batting average, 31 home runs, 95 RBI in 2011), while Morales had his ups and downs in 2012 (.273 batting average, 22 home runs, 73 RBI), his first season back from a broken left leg.
Zduriencik tried to trade for Upton about three weeks ago, but Upton nixed the deal as the Mariners were one of four teams on Upton's no-trade list. Had that deal gone through, the Arizona Diamondbacks would've gotten middle infielder Nick Franklin, left-handed pitcher Charlie Furbush, right-hander Stephen Pryor and one of the Big Three—right-hander Taijuan Walker and lefties Danny Hultzen and James Paxton.
If that was the going rate for Upton, who is 25 years old and has three years, $38.5 million left in his contract, then the Marlins might have every right to ask for the Mariners farm system. Literally.
The Mariners' top five prospects are, according to Baseball Prospectus, Walker, catcher Mike Zunino, Hultzen, Franklin and Paxton. Zunino won't be available in a trade until July 2 since players can't be traded for a year after signing a pro contract, according to The Seattle Times' Larry Stone.
In the aftermath of the Upton trade, if the Mariners call the Marlins and the Marlins say they want Walker, Hultzen, Franklin, Paxton and a player to be named later (Zunino) for Stanton, that would probably be the ultimate Godfather offer. Then, the question becomes, who blinks first?
It wouldn't be surprising if Zduriencik swallows hard and agrees to such a deal. After all, ESPN.com's Jim Bowden believes Zduriencik is an executive who is on the hot seat.
Prediction: 60 percent chance the Mariners will send an offer the Marlins can’t refuse. It's just a matter of what prospects the Marlins receive.