The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly the two teams with the most interest in trading for Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton, 28, is considered the biggest trade chip on the market this winter. New Marlins ownership has made it a priority to shed payroll, which will at some point come at the expense of their best and highest-paid player.
"I don't like the word teardown," new Marlins part-owner Derek Jeter told reporters last month while categorizing the team as a "rebuilding" franchise. "Moving forward, there are going to at times be unpopular decisions we make. We have a plan, but at the same time we have to have patience."
Stanton led MLB with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted in last season. He was the first player since the 2001 season with at least 59 homers.
What makes any trade more difficult is the fact Stanton has a full no-trade clause. While it's expected he would be amenable to a deal that puts him with a contending franchise, he holds all of the power. The Marlins may be in a situation where they'll have to potentially accept a lesser haul in return for a more attractive destination of Stanton's choosing.
The Giants and Cardinals have needs in the outfield, a strong enough financial foothold and enticing young players. They've seemed like natural Stanton fits ever since the rumors began, so it's not a surprise to see them being mentioned as serious suitors.