Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has drawn plenty of trade interest from other MLB teams. Despite Stanton's 2013 struggles (.545 OPS, 0 HR), suitors would be willing to offer blockbuster packages to acquire him.
July's non-waiver trade deadline doesn't seem like a potential moving date, MLB Network's Peter Gammons reports:
Team after team--from Boston to Mets to Rangers and on and on--have checked in with Miami on Stanton, with "not interested" response from Ms— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) April 14, 2013
Stanton earns a measly six-figure salary and—along with talented rookie Jose Fernandez—is one of two reasons anybody will attend Marlins Park this summer.
However, there's a strong sense around the industry that he will change uniforms prior to Opening Day 2014. Arbitration eligibility will lead to a substantial pay raise, and swapping this superstar for prospects would expedite Miami's rebuilding process while keeping costs low.
Every franchise will attempt to add the 23-year-old during the offseason because he is so accomplished at such a young age. But in particular, the following potential transactions should pique the interest of the Marlins front office.
Blockbuster trade package: RHP Jose Campos, RHP Mark Montgomery, IF/OF Eduardo Nunez, C Gary Sanchez and CF Mason Williams.
And even all that probably wouldn't be enough to land Giancarlo Stanton.
Bet on Sanchez to rise to Double-A by season's end as he continues to blossom into an excellent, all-around catcher. Campos and Williams could join him. The Miami Marlins might be intrigued by their potential.
Montegomery's minor league numbers have been positively filthy. He's a life-long reliever, but the Fish won't have any complaints if he stays on a David Robertson-like track.
We've seen Nunez admirably try to fill in for an injured Derek Jeter...and epically fail. At least he can contribute as a base-stealing threat and pinch-hitter against lefties.
How Stanton fits
Curtis Granderson is headed toward free agency. His power-hitting ability and personality will lure lots of contenders. The Yankees may handle Granderson just as they did Nick Swisher last offseason: make a qualifying offer and step away.
Consequently, Brett Gardner would make the move to center field, with Ichiro Suzuki taking over in left.
Blockbuster trade package: RHP Dylan Bundy, 3B Nick Delmonico, RHP Miguel Gonzalez and SS/2B Jonathan Schoop.
The Baltimore Orioles have a surplus of soon-to-be arbitration eligible pitchers with starting experience, such as Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz.
Unfortunately, the Miami Marlins won't be taking on significant salaries in any Giancarlo Stanton transaction.
Bundy, baseball's most coveted pitching prospect, is obviously going to be included. He debuted in the majors last September at age 19 and should pitch more significant innings for Baltimore down the stretch in 2013.
While Delmonico still lacks a set defensive position, his hitting potential is undeniable. He enters April 23 with a .325/.471/.600 batting line in the High-A Carolina League.
The only non-prospect of this bunch, Gonzalez, would actually be the graybeard of Miami's 2014 rotation. Various major injuries delayed his major league career by several years. The right-hander makes up for limited experience with statistical excellence, even on the playoff stage.
On the other hand, Schoop's professional numbers haven't blown anyone away, but his future is still very bright. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com spoke to a rival scout about his potential:
Defensively, Schoop is going to be really solid no matter where they put him," said a scout from outside the organization. "He doesn't have great foot speed, which is probably why they have him at third base, but he handles everything there. He has plenty of arm. He can handle that or second base. And I've heard he can handle shortstop.
I think he has a ton of upside. From a batting standpoint, he's very young and raw, but when he's on, he has really good bat speed and really strong hands. The ball explodes off his bat. I saw that, and talked to other scouts who saw it. They're all very interested in what he's doing.
How Stanton fits
The O's could use upgrades at designated hitter and left field. The current starters in those roles are Nolan Reimold and Nate McLouth, respectively.
They will continue to have value in platoon situations and as injury replacements, but neither would prevent Stanton from getting into the lineup regularly.
Blockbuster trade package: RHP Carter Capps, LHP Danny Hultzen, OF Leon Landry and C Mike Zunino.
The Seattle Mariners nearly acquired Justin Upton this past winter, but the outfielder exercised his veto power. Their offer consisted of four budding talents, so making another for Giancarlo Stanton should have a similar composition.
As of April 23, Capps is the only one with MLB experience. Though the results thus far have been unremarkable, his strikeout rate is awfully encouraging. He specifically induces a high percentage of swings-and-misses (via Baseball-Reference.com).
A 2.78 earned run average thus far in the Pacific Coast League indicates that Hultzen will breakthrough to the big leagues soon. Landry came to Seattle in last year's Brandon League trade. He's a dynamic offensive player who turns 23 in September.
Zunino finally showed his mortality with a 0-for-20 stretch earlier this month at Triple-A. Overall, however, he has thoroughly destroyed professional pitchers and worked well with those throwing to his catcher's mitt. The Miami Marlins would be privileged to have him leapfrog Rob Brantly on their depth chart.
How Stanton fits
Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse all have expiring contracts.
The M's might re-sign a few of them. They will have vacancies on the bench and at designated hitter.
Stanton stills slides in nicely as a right fielder alongside Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Saunders.
Blockbuster trade package: 1B Mike Adams, RHP Trevor Rosenthal and OF Oscar Taveras.
ESPN and Baseball America ranked the St. Louis Cardinals farm system at No. 1 entering the 2013 season. Bleacher Report's own Mike Rosenbaum considered it a close second to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cards earned those accolades with a handful of elite prospects in the high minors. As a result, they are among the few MLB teams that could snatch Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins with a three-for-one exchange.
Matt Adams is currently forcing his way into Mike Matheny's lineup against right-handed pitching. The Fish, of course, would use him as much as possible.
Everything about Rosenthal's past suggests he'll thrive in the starting rotation. Worst-case scenario? Miami gets a cheap, dominant setup man.
And Taveras is a surefire stud. He'll inevitably get his feet wet in the majors as the summer progresses. For now, the Dominican outfielder is working on a .300 batting average for the fourth straight professional season.
How Stanton fits
He could simply take the place of free-agent-to-be Carlos Beltran.
Blockbuster trade package: 3B Garin Cecchini, LHP Felix Doubront, LHP Henry Owens and RHP Allen Webster.
Reluctance to move Jackie Bradley Jr. or Will Middlebrooks would force the Boston Red Sox to relinquish more pitching in any Giancarlo Stanton trade.
Webster is the best of them, an over-powering right-hander with impressive command. An impressive MLB debut this past Sunday (6.0 IP, 2 ER) silenced the skeptics.
The Miami Marlins would gladly accept Doubront in their rotation. He won't be eligible for arbitration until 2015, and pretty much any southpaw has more potential than Wade LeBlanc.
The 22-year-old Cecchini is blocked behind Will Middlebrooks, so Boston shouldn't hesitate to move him. If nothing else, his speed will lead to a respectable major league career (51 SB in Single-A last season).
Owens added bulk to his lanky frame over the winter and credits it for his 13-strikeout performance in spring training, according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier. His regular season began on a positive note, too (also via Speier).
How Stanton fits
Barring another injury-plagued season, Jacoby Ellsbury will be the top outfielder in the upcoming free-agent class.
The Red Sox won't be desperate to retain him. Shane Victorino could easily inherit his defensive repsponsibilities, with Stanton taking his place in right and Bradley platooning with Jonny Gomes on the other side of the field.
Blockbuster trade package: CF Brandon Nimmo, RHP Noah Syndergaard, OF/IF Jordany Valdespin and RHP Zack Wheeler.
Despite Travis d'Arnaud worrisome health, it's tough to imagine the New York Mets packaging him for anybody. The coaching staff raved about him in spring training (via John Harper, Daily News) and no other farmhand has nearly as much potential behind the plate.
If that's the case, Wheeler would be an obvious inclusion. His command remains a bit inconsistent, but the strikeout potential makes him a potential rotation leader, anyway.
Snydergaard, 20, has many of the same characteristics. He's another tall, lean right-hander who actually owns a much better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Wheeler as a professional.
In Valdespin, the Fish would get a versatile athlete with lots of offensive potential who's under team control through 2018. By then, Nimmo will probably be an established major league starter.
How Stanton fits
Aside from Lucas Duda, the Mets have an underwhelming outfield, and even he is bound to cool off after a powerful start to 2013.
The team could easily accommodate Stanton once Marlon Byrd leaves via free agency. The center-field job would come down to in-house options Collin Cowgill and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Blockbuster trade package: LHP Martin Perez, SS Jurickson Profar and LHP Robbie Ross.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com thinks it "makes perfect sense" for the Texas Rangers to pursue Giancarlo Stanton. They have the need for a legitimate, middle-of-the-order bat and have the reputation for asking around early in the season.
Profar, baseball's top overall prospect, is an obvious inclusion in this deal. The Rangers love his potential, but should have no trouble competing without him. Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler comprise an outstanding double-play combination. Texas has complete control over both through the 2018 season.
The 22-year-old Perez is an MLB-ready starter. Though he suffered a broken wrist in spring training, Todd Wills of ESPNDallas.com reports that he's only days away from throwing live batting practice.
Despite their high ceilings, neither guy has much major league experience or success.
That's where Ross fits in. The lefty reliever has thrived in the later innings with an advanced repertoire that should translate well to the rotation. Lacking wins and saves, Ross will be inexpensive to retain during his arbitration years.
How Stanton fits
Nelson Cruz is set to become a free agent coming off a season where he earned $10.5 million. He has been a very one-dimensional player since 2011, so the Rangers won't necessarily try to retain him.
Even if Cruz reverts to All-Star form, perhaps he'll be converted into a first baseman. Also, declining Lance Berkman's $12 million club option will open up the designated hitter's spot.
Regardless, acquiring Stanton makes sense for Texas.
Following Ely on Twitter also makes perfect sense.