Aug 2, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Analyzing the Rumored Pittsburgh Pirates offer for Giancarlo Stanton

Earlier today I reported what a unnamed team source revealed to Marlin Maniac was thought to be the Pittsburgh Pirates offer to the Miami Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton. The package included Gerrit Cole, Starling Marte, Jameston Taillon, and Stetson Allie for Stanton, Steve Cishek, and Justin Ruggiano.

The package was enough to catch the Marlins front office’s eyes, which in turn they presented to owner Jeffery Loria, who quickly nixed the idea. The Marlins would prefer to first offer Stanton a long-term extension

Gerrit Cole is the obvious prize of the package, as he came into the season as a unanimous top 10 prospect in all of baseball, ranking seventh (two spots behind Jose Fernandez) on Baseball America’s Top 100 list. Cole started the season in Triple-A and made enough of an impression to earn a promotion to the big leagues.

Cole has held his own with an impressive 3.69/3.53 ERA/FIP for his rookie season. He has not missed as many at bats as he did his first two seasons in the minors, with only 43 strikeouts, but has only walked 14 in his 61 major league innings. Cole had an impressive start against the Marlins in late July, striking out eight and allowing just three runs. Cole features a fastball between 92 and 97 miles per hour, a strong slider, and a solid changeup. A one-two punch at the top of the rotation of Fernandez-Cole would have been a solid building block for many seasons to come. Both were first round picks in the 2011 draft.

Starling Marte, whose in his second big league season, was also a huge part of the Pirates package. With him already being established as a major leaguer, he would be the obvious candidate to take over for Stanton in right longterm. Marte plays strong defense in the outfield and has been worth about 4 wins in 2013.

Marte has a .279/.335/.441 slash line with 10 home runs and 32 stolen bases. Under team control under 2018, Dave Cameron had Marte ranked with the 31st best trade value currently in baseball. This is what he to say about him:

In some ways, I think I’m underselling his value by placing him here, but on the other hand, teams have shown that they’re not as willing to pay for speed-and-defense in the corners. Marte could certainly handle a move to center field, but his defensive value isn’t going to be as appreciated while he’s playing next to Andrew McCutchen, and the things he does well aren’t quite as sexy as launching balls into the upper deck. Like many young players with this set of skills, Marte’s actual value is likely higher than his trade value.

Jameson Taillon is also a top pitching prospect currently in baseball. Coming into the season he was ranked the 19th best prospect according to BA, rising to number 11 in their mid-season update. Taillon was the Pirates first round pick in 2010 and scouts believe he has the same ceiling as an ace as Cole. Taillon has pitched well in Double-A in 2013 with a 3.67/3.45 ERA/FIP in 110 1/3 innings. Taillon was promoted to Triple-A earlier this week and is expected to make his AAA debut today.

The final prospect that the scout mentioned to me was another intriguing name. Along with teammate Taillon, Stetson Allie was considered by many to be the Top 2 prep arms available in the 2010 draft. Due to signability questions, Allie slipped to the second round and the Pirates were more than happy to hand him an above-slot deal. Despite his ability to hit triple digits, he struggled with command, walking 37 hitters in 26 2/3 innings.

The Pirates then tried Allie at third (which went miserably) before deciding on first as his permanent role. Allie struggled in 2012 with his bat, but had a tremendous season in Low-A with a .324/.414/.607 line and 17 homers in just 66 games. His performance was good enough to earn him a promotion to High-A.

Marlin Maniac friend and scout Nathaniel Stoltz recently wrote an article on Fangraphs discussing five sleeper first base prospects, in which he talked about Allie and has video of two of his more impressive home runs.


The question we are looking at is if this was a fair return for what the Marlins were going to give up. Back in June when the first Stanton-to-Pirates rumors emerged, Michael Jong of Fishstripes analyzed that the Pirates would have to include both their top pitching prospects in order for them to acquire Stanton. In this rumored trade, the Pirates would be doing just that.

That means the Marlins would be trading Stanton for Cole and Taillon and Cishek and Ruggiano for Marte and Stetson. Cannot say that is an unfair deal for either side, with the Pirates maybe even overpaying a little bit. It’s obvious why the Pirates offer caught the eye of the Marlins front office.

Of course, I don’t blame Jeffery Loria for wanting to try and signing Stanton to a longterm extension, as he is a once in a lifetime talent with his power. An argument could be made that the Marlins have waited too long to sign Stanton in the first place though.

Either way, we should look forward to an interesting offseason with Stanton and the Marlins. The Marlins could come out winners if Stanton agrees to sign an extension, but they could also come out as winners if they land a package similar to the one the Pirates are rumored to have offered.

Is the Pirates package for Stanton+Cishek enough?

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Tags: Gerrit Cole Giancarlo Stanton Jameson Taillon Justin Ruggiano Miami Marlins Pittsburgh Pirates Starling Marte Stetson Allie Steve Cishek

  • marcorincon

    I’m thrilled the Pirates didn’t make this trade (if it even was a possibility – which I doubt). I can see possibly trading Cole if the return is right but no way I’d move Marte. He’s only going to get better and he’s an everyday player who has settled in to become a decent enough leadoff hitter for the Bucs. When he learns to take a few more pitches and ups his walk total – all the better. Stanton would be a wonderful addition to the Pirate lineup but this is far too much to trade. Let’s let Taillon get to the MLB level by next season and then see if both he and Cole are future stars together before trading one or both. I’ve got less opinion about Allie but 1b in Pittsburgh is going to be open for competition by 2015. Stetson might have earned a spot in that competition by then. I like Cishek but we’ve got plenty of relievers in the Bucco pen and relievers can come relatively cheap. This deal to the Marlins would not have been cheap!

    • ehsank24

      While the package is a lot for the Pirates to give up, right now Stanton’s trade value is at the point you’d have to give up a cost controlled player such as Cole and a top prospect like Taillon. The Marlins would be losing if they settled for anything less.

  • George Blair

    Thank God this trade didn’t go through. A starting LF, a starting P, for a guy hitting .240?

    • ehsank24

      All you see out of Stanton is a .240 hitter? Really? One of the few players in baseball history to have 100 homers before the age of 23. His career average is even at .266

  • brent

    No way the pirates offered all that. Huntington wasn’t selling out the future of the club. He has his plan and it’s clearly working. The pirates and several other sources have said the pirates actually made no offer at all.

    • ehsank24

      Stanton himself is just 23 though. The Pirates making an offer was first reported from a Pittsburgh source. A Marlins source then turned it down and I heard this one just yesterday from a reliable source. I am just reporting what I heard.

  • Brandon Smith

    This can’t be true. Pirates would have been bigtime losers in this trade. If this is true, Miami’s owner should be thrown into the swamp.

    • ehsank24

      He probably should be, but at least he is willing to attempt to sign Stanton to an extension before trading him. Even if he made this deal, the backlash from fans would be bad due to the team trading another superstar.

      • Brandon Smith

        As a Pirates fan, I hear that.

  • Dan Muccino

    Worst trade offer ever, I would resign as a Pirate fan, if that ever happened. Stanton isn’t worth 2 top 10 prospects, and a 15HR-40SB hitter that could hit 300+ for his whole career.