How Giancarlo Stanton/Miguel Cabrera/Prince Fielder Trio Would Shake Up MLB
Two groups of people have two totally opposite reactions to this headline.
Fans of the Detroit Tigers immediately say "Yes, where do I sign up for this?!?!"
Those who don't cheer for the defending American League champions just threw up in their mouths a little.
I know I did.
On the heels of Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria telling Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that this was not the year for the team to approach star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton about a contract extension, speculation that Stanton could be traded has ratcheted up once again.
In his latest column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and an unnamed American League executive speculate that the Detroit Tigers would be a logical landing spot for the 23-year-old slugger.
The pair point to Detroit's plethora of young talent and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski's ties to the Marlins, having spent more than a decade with the organization prior to becoming the Tigers general manager in 2002.
So how would adding Stanton to the mix in Detroit shake things up?
It would send shock waves through the sport.
How Trading Stanton Would Impact Miami and the National League
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Obviously, Miami would have to receive a lucrative package of MLB-ready players and prospects to move Stanton.
As Cafardo speculates, 21-year-old third base/outfield prospect Nick Castellanos, 21-year-old outfield prospect Avisail Garcia and 24-year-old right-handed starter Rick Porcello would likely be part of any package heading to Miami.
That trio alone fills holes for the Marlins: Castellanos as the team's third baseman, Garcia to replace Stanton in right field and Porcello adds depth to a starting rotation that currently has none.
But it would take more than that to pry Stanton out of Miami.
Since this is all speculation, I suggest that one of two southpaws, either 23-year-old Drew Smyly or 24-year-old Casey Crosby would need to be included as well.
That would give Miami three young arms in the rotation to build around: Porcello, Smyly/Crosby and Jose Fernandez, the Marlins' top prospect and one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball.
That trio could potentially develop into one of the better rotations in baseball if handled correctly, especially if some of the young arms that the Marlins landed from the Toronto Blue Jays during the offseason work out as expected.
Adding relatively inexpensive youngsters under team control for the foreseeable future fits in with the low-budget approach that Loria is forcing on the team, and each of the youngsters Miami would receive is a quality piece of the puzzle that the Marlins need to assemble.
Landing a four-player package like this would certainly hasten the rebuilding efforts in Miami and allow the team to creep back into playoff contention, perhaps as early as the 2014 season.
How Trading Stanton Would Impact Detroit and the American League
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No team in baseball would have a heart of the order that could compete with Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Giancarlo Stanton.
Consider the numbers that the three put up in 2012:
You've got Cabrera, the reigning AL MVP and baseball's first Triple Crown winner in nearly 50 years, widely considered to be the best player in the game today.
Fielder remains one of the best first basemen in the game and a perennial MVP candidate.
Stanton, with more raw power than anyone in the game, is thought to be a future MVP winner—with the only question being whether it'll be in the NL with the Marlins or the AL with another team.
Throw in Austin Jackson leading off, Torii Hunter hitting second (he'd have to move to left field, obviously), and Victor Martinez hitting sixth, and there may not be a better lineup in all of baseball than what the Tigers could roll out.
Think about how ridiculous that lineup would be. How does an opposing team attack the Tigers' bats? Perhaps the more appropriate question to ask is this: who do you pitch to?
Adding Stanton to the mix would not only solidify Detroit's place as the best team in the American League, but keep them there for quite some time.
For even after Cabrera, Fielder and Justin Verlander are past their prime, guys like Stanton, Jackson and Max Scherzer would still be in theirs, carrying the load as the trio that came before them once did.
That's a scary proposition—for both leagues.
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