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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2017

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 01: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on October 1, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Miami Marlins via Getty Images)
Rob Foldy/Miami Marlins/Getty Images

As long as Giancarlo Stanton remains a member of the Miami Marlins, the organization will be the epicenter of any MLB trade rumors.

After all, Stanton is a superstar slugger with an immense contract on a rebuilding team. He's a prime candidate to be moved, and there's enough smoke surrounding his name to suggest a fire is roaring behind closed doors.

His teammate, Christian Yelich, could also be on the move.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Cardinals "believe their best bet for a bat is via trade, and they'll engage in talks with the Marlins about Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich as well as options yet to surface."

As Goold noted, the Cardinals have two major goals for the offseason: adding a slugger and adding a closer.

Both Stanton, 27, and Yelich, 25, could provide the former. Stanton is coming off easily his best season as a pro after hitting .281 with 59 homers and 132 RBI. Yelich didn't come near those numbers—nobody in baseball did either—but he still hit .282 with 18 dingers and 81 RBI.

But Yelich may be more tradable than Stanton given their respective contracts. Consider the following from baseball writer Peter Gammons, who touched on the Stanton situation while touching upon Boston's desire to add a slugger:

"The Red Sox have not reached out to Stanton's agent Joel Wolfe, and they probably understand that not only is Stanton's contract sizeable, he—and no one else—will decide where he goes because of that contract.

"Boston is an unlikely choice (although Stanton's mother is from Ponce), and while the Cardinals have reportedly made one of their best young pitchers available if the Derek Jeter ownership will take back some of the money, there is no comparable pitching in the upper half of the Boston system right now even if in the unlikely event Stanton says he'd go there that they could agree on player compensation.

"Understand: in the last week three different general managers of profitable market teams have said that if Stanton were put on waivers, he would, like Manny Ramirez 12 years ago, go unclaimed. That's complicated."

Complicated, but perhaps not surprising. Stanton is just two years into a 13-year, $325 million contract, per Spotrac.com. While Stanton can opt out of the deal after the 2020 season, why would he? Is another team going to offer him more money than he'll make between 2021-28? Probably not.

Yelich, meanwhile, is due a far more affordable $61.2 million over the next five seasons, with a club option in 2022. That's not only more appealing for other clubs around baseball, along with the fact that Yelich is two years younger than Stanton, it's also more appealing to Miami.

And in late October, Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reported that the Marlins hoped to trade Stanton, second baseman Dee Gordon and third baseman Martin Prado to trim budget, all in the hopes of cutting the payroll to $90 million. 

Per that report, meanwhile, the team would prefer to hold onto Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour and Dan Straily.

It's a new era in Miami under Jeter and his ownership group, and the Opening Day roster in 2018 could look drastically different. It continues to appear as though Stanton will be donning a new uniform come March. Yelich, on the other hand, seems more likely to stay.

Even he could be on the chopping block in the race to lower payroll, however. 

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