The trade rumors are coming in fast and furious now, like a brushback pitch between heated rivals. Below, we'll break down a few of the more intriguing rumors surrounding some of the biggest names potentially on the trade block.
Jackie Bradley Jr.
The San Francisco Giants are reportedly interested in making a move for Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., according to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network:
That second tweet is perhaps key, with Giancarlo Stanton a potential target for the Red Sox (more on that later).
Bradley, 27, is coming off a somewhat disappointing season after hitting just .245 with 17 homers, 63 RBI and 58 runs in 133 games. He couldn't quite build upon his breakout 2016 season when he ripped 26 home runs, 87 RBI and scored 94 runs.
The Giants could use an infusion of offense after finishing 29th in the NL in runs scored (639) in 2017 and 30th in homers (128). While Bradley wouldn't represent the potential offensive boon that a few of the players discussed below would offer, he would certainly be an upgrade in San Francisco's offense.
And if the Red Sox do make a move for Stanton, Bradley could either be a trade chip in a three-way deal or bring back a few prospects if they move some of their talented young players in a deal with the Marlins.
No bigger name is likely to change uniforms than Stanton this offseason, and not surprisingly, no player has had more rumors this fall than the Miami slugger. Let's round up the latest.
Morosi reported on Friday that the Marlins have had "preliminary discussions" with the Red Sox, Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies, while Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports noted that the "Giants, Cardinals and Phillies have been the most consistent pursuers of Stanton since last summer."
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reported on Saturday that, "According to a Major League source, talks between the Red Sox and Marlins involving a trade for the slugger 'may be heating up.'"
He continued: "'They're definitely in play,' the source said of the Red Sox, who are at least exploring the possibility of acquiring the Majors' reigning home run king."
For the Red Sox, Stanton would be the sort of major splash the organization likes to make each winter. In St. Louis and San Francisco, meanwhile, he would be a much-needed infusion of power for rosters perhaps a superstar away from being playoff contenders. And in Philadelphia, he would be the face of the franchise for a team that has been undergoing a slow rebuild but may have several talented young players promoted from the farm system this upcoming season.
Without question, Stanton's 59 home runs with 132 RBI make him intriguing for any team. It's his no-trade clause and the $295 million he's owed over the next 10 years—along with an opt-out in three years—that complicates matters.
Heyman added further context to the no-trade clause and how it could affect talks:
"[While] he only has said that he isn't up for a rebuild, telling FanRag Sports two months ago in late September that he'd prefer not to endure yet another rebuild, he has the option of declining any deal, and thus has a lot of the power. Though he hasn't discussed anything besides his preference to play for a competitive team, others around the team suspect he prefers one of the coasts, and possibly most prefers the West Coast if given the choice."
Advantage: Giants. But this trade saga should take plenty of twists and turns and could end up being one of the more complex transactions in recent memory when everything is settled.
Alongside their interest in Stanton, the Cardinals are also gauging the Toronto Blue Jays willingness to trade former MVP Josh Donaldson, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
If the Cardinals fail to land Stanton, Donaldson would be a heck of a consolation prize. The Blue Jays third baseman has ripped 101 homers and 300 RBI the past three seasons in Toronto, establishing himself as one of the top power hitters in baseball.
But would Toronto—following a disappointing 76-86 season—be willing to deal their 31-year-old slugger?
At the moment, the answer appears to be no. Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reported Friday that the team has "zero intention" of trading Donaldson despite his looming free agency. Things change fast, of course, but perhaps put a pin in this rumor for now.