The pipe dream of trade packages for Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton sprung leaks again when MLB Trade Rumors posted that Marlins “will listen to all offers on him.” Upon hearing this news, the internet once again drooled over the thought of the artist-formerly-known-as “Mike” Stanton crushing baseballs in their home park. In fact, Jeff Moore of MLB Prospect Watch made a cool, Dumb and Dumber themed post outlining what all 30 teams would package for a Stanton trade.
As frustrated as Stanton has been with the front office, and as irreverent as the front office has been with fan favorites lately, Stanton simply won’t go this offseason. Here are five reasons why:
Above all other reasons why Stanton won’t be traded this offseason, his overwhelming value stands on top. Stanton is the most talented athlete the Marlins have had since Miguel Cabrera. Giancarlo was drafted in 2007, and since then has mashed many glorious dingers, played exceptional defense, and boasted an above average walk rate of 10%.
To put his value in perspective, according to Fangraphs, Stanton has been the 10th most valuable outfielder based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) during the span of his career (2010-12). This ranking puts him in-between Shane Victorino and Curtis Granderson on the list. Not only is he the youngest player in the top ten, his ISO of .282 is only topped by Jose Bautista’s incredible .322. Only Bautista’s surprising surge of power numbers exceeds Stanton’s short career. Baustista is nearly eight years older than Stanton. Stanton’s young age opens the door for teams not quite in contention to enter into the crowded trade discussion, boosting his already high trade value.
2. Asking Price
Assessing Stanton’s talent along with his young age, his trade value is justly through the roof. Earlier this month, I proposed a whole planet could be a valid offer. Taking on a less galactic tone, Jeff Moore’s article has most teams on the list give up their top prospect and a player already helping the major league team, and a maybe more, depending on the prospect.
Around the league, there is a pattern of quality teams holding on to their good major league players. That’s analysis you can trust. This mirrors a pattern of worse teams holding on to their prospects. When you’re dealing a player for both prospects and major leaguers, very few teams can match the bill.
On a less obvious note, if you’re a team who has quality prospects and a good major league squad, you have no business making trades. So there’s the Stanton trade paradox. The asking price for Stanton is high, but fair. No team with the necessary assets should match the price, and if the Marlins were to find any takers, they would more than likely be selling themselves short.
3. Importance to Marlins
After reviewing Giancarlo’s value compared to the league’s elite and what he’s worth in other players, it’s obvious how important he will be for the 2013 Marlins.
Offensively, Stanton nearly doubled the next best Marlin’s WAR in 2012, posting a 5.4 to Jose Reyes’ 2.8. With Reyes in Toronto, the next most valuable 2013 Marlin looks to be Justin Ruggiano. Justin contributing numbers beyond his 2012 would be a welcome surprise, but I would still bet Ruggiano is worth about half of Stanton’s offensive value next season.
Moving down the list, staff ace Ricky Nolasco placed 9th on the 2012 Marlins WAR leaders in his 70 plate appearances.
Those Marlins were ranked 29th in runs scored last season with 609. Do the 2013 Marlins even get to 550 runs without Stanton? Without him, sitting through this miserable offense in 2013 would be more of a chore than already expected.
4. Fan and League Reaction
Aside from his offensive production, numbers, and tools, Stanton is the star power for the Marlins. He’s the guy to market this season. Imagine this:
It’s Christmas morning, and a child scampers down the hall to see the gifts magical St. Nick left specifically for him. On his knees, dusting up his pajamas, his parents smile as the child tears away the wrapping paper off the box. It’s a jersey that reads, “S O L A N O” across the back.
Donovan Solano isn’t a bad baseball player. I actually like him. But that’s the sad reality fans face if Stanton is traded. Solano jersey sales skyrocketing. Jokes aside, It would be a hilarious challenge to see the Marlins sell anyone else on the roster as a “star.”
Historically, Marlins owners haven’t shown much regard for the sentimental jersey buyers. But as reported by ESPN shortly after “The Trade,” the MLB Player’s Union was snooped around the financial impact the purge had on the franchise. Trading Stanton would no doubt attract even more negative attention to the already sketchy owners.
Listening does not mean trading. Marlins have little to no incentive to move him now.
What my beat writer says, goes. If JCR tweets ten seconds after I post this, “Stanton will be gone by tomorrow.” I swear on Billy the Marlin I will have a post entitled “Five reasons I should have seen this coming.” No hesitation.
Happy New Year.