MLB Trade Rumors: Should The St. Louis Cardinals Trade For Giancarlo Stanton?

Aug 17, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) at bat against the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I wrote about the possible availability of Cardinals third baseman David Freese for next season and proposed that the Marlins might acquire him with a Steve Cishek-for-Freese trade.  Looking back at it now, though, I think my proposal was a bloop single when I might as well try to hit a fantasy baseball home run, so here goes.

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best run organizations in baseball as evidenced by their ability to reamin in contention year after year while also maintaining one the best minor league systems.  The Cards are so stacked with big league ready prospects they have trouble finding them enough available at bats and innings at the major league level.

In other words, this is one of the teams the Marlins should be targeting this offseason if they plan to maximize the return on their massive trade chip, Giancarlo Stanton.  I have not heard the Cardinals linked to a Stanton trade, but there are a couple of circumstances coming up that might make it an attractive move for them.

As mentioned in yesterday’s piece, the Cards have two key regulars who will be free agents at the end of this season in rightfielder Carlos Beltran and closer Edward Mujica.  As a team that expects to be in contention over the next few years, Stanton would be a perfect replacement for Beltran.  Especially since being a first year arbitration eligible player means he will probably be quite a bit less expensive than the $13 million Beltran was paid this season.

Looking a bit further down the line, the contract of Cards leftfielder Matt Holliday expires after the 2016 season, which coincidentally would be the first year Stanton is eligible for free agency.  The then 36 year old Holliday would make $17 million in 2016. That freed up salary could conveniently be used to pay a then 27 year old Stanton in 2017 and beyond.

So assuming a possible fit has been established, who exactly are these prospects the Marlins should ask for in return.  In any Stanton trade, the Marlins should ask for the entire house and work their way down from there.  Considering the current strengths and weaknesses in the Marlins organization, I would start by asking for Freese, outfielder Oscar Taveras, first baseman Matt Adams and any one  from a list of pitchers that includes Trevor Rosenthal or Michael Wacha or Michael Blazek.  It’s likely that the Marlins will have to include Cishek along with Stanton to get his done, but that should not be an issue.

Here are the 2013 numbers for the Cardinal players:

Name Level G PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BB% K%
Freese MLB

103

270

6

41

43

0

.265

.343

.380

.323

107

20.1%

9.5%

Adams MLB

75

208

9

26

34

0

.270

.337

.476

.355

129

22.6%

8.2%

Taveras AAA

46

186

5

25

32

5

.306

.341

.462

.353

108

11.8%

4.8%

 

Name Level W L SV G IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA FIP
Rosenthal MLB

1

3

0

56

58.1

13.11

2.47

0.62

2.62

2.15

Wacha AAA

5

3

0

15

85

7.73

2.01

0.95

2.65

3.53

Blazek AAA

0

2

9

34

42

10.93

4.50

0.21

1.71

2.66

 

As we discussed yesterday, Freese is an above average offensive 3B with two years of team control remaining.

Matt Adams is a lefthanded hitting first baseman with plus raw power and a .318 career minor league batting average.  He has been used coming off the bench and as an injury replacement at the big league level all season with some success.

Mar 6, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Oscar Taveras (87) hits a 2 run home run against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Oscar Tavares is the top prospect in the Cards system and was the #2 overall prospect according to MLB.com coming into the season.  The scouting report on him mentions that “his improvement in terms of plate discipline has made him an even more dangerous hitter, one who looks like a sure-fire middle-of-the-order run producer.” Tavares had an injury filled season in AAA, but still managed to post impressive rate stats.

Trevor Rosenthal is a righthanded power pitcher who has been used in the St. Louis bullpen all season.  Rosenthal throws a high 90’s fastball along with an excellent curveball and cutter.  He is still viewed as a future starter, but has already proven he can be very effective out of the pen.

Michael Wacha is a big right hander with a mid 90’s fastball and above average slider who projects as a durable major league starter.  The first round draft pick from 2012 is in just his first season of professional ball.

Michael Blazek was the Cards #6 prospect coming into the season and is a fall back option if the Cards won’t budge on Rosenthal or Wacha.  Blazek is strictly a reliever at his point with a 95 mph fastball to go along with a curveball, cutter and change up.  Control has been an issue for the righthander, but it has not hampered his ability to shutdown minor league hitters allowing a sub .200 opponents average.

In one fantasy baseball style move the Marlins can address their lack of offense from the infield corners, bring in a viable replacement for Stanton in rightfield and possibly add to their already impressive group of pitching talent.  In addition, they would now be free to try to move Logan Morrison for some badly needed help at catcher.

The Cards get a proven power bat and elite talent in rightfield instead of having to hope Tavares is ready to perform in a pennant race next season.  However, they would be giving up a lot in inexpensive assets so the deal makes far less sense from their side.

What do you think, any chance either team would go for this?

Does this Cards trade for Stanton & Cishek Make Sense?

View Results

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Topics: Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Adams, Miami Marlins, Oscar Taveras, St. Louis Cardinals, Steve Cishek, Trevor Rosenthal

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  • Ovadia

    I’ve been blogging for Redbird Rants lately and happened to stumble upon this post.

    I have to ask, what makes you think that this is a good trade for the Cardinals? I admit that I’ve never understood the love for Stanton, who has never hit over .300, and only hit over .262 once! He’s under .250 this season. His power has dropped this season, but even if it comes back in full force, he’s still a strikeout machine and will easily top 100 Ks for a fourth straight season.

    Matt Adams has only three fewer RBIs off the bench than Stanton does as a starter. And he’s only one of FOUR players you want in return?

    Taveras is the best hitting prospect in baseball, why would we trade him for a sub-.250 hitter with some pop?

    The way the Cardinals have remained that great team that is always in contention isn’t by trading away all of our chips in one blockbuster move. Your proposed trade involves three solid offensive players and a very good pitcher.

    Cishek pitches well, but he’s also not worth two top prospects. You might be able to start thinking about a Stanton and Cishek for Freese and a solid prospect, but not three of our best. As your fan poll is demonstrating, the Cardinals would have to be out of their minds to make a deal like that.

    Nonetheless, I always like getting the blood flowing with a good absurd trade proposal. Well done. :)

    • ehsank24

      Wow. For one, you are looking at the wrong stats. You are over-weighting the importance of Average and RBI. Stanton is not just sub-.250 player with “some pop.” You can ask around baseball, he is the premiere power hitter in the league. 100 homers before the age of 23 is rare.

      Since you brought up average, look at Stanton’s numbers again. He has a career .266 average and hit .290 last season. His career OBP is .351 and even higher this season.

      Yes, he strikes out a lot, but his power and strong defense in right field more than makes up for it.

      We always appreciate people reading out site, but this is far from an absurd trade offer. Maybe you need to stop overvaluing some of the Cards players and realize the talent Stanton really is.

      Also, Taveras is a great prospect, but at this point, he is unproven and so is Matt Adams outside of being a bench player.

    • Placidin

      FIrst off, thanks for reading and even more thanks for commenting. I was really hoping to get some reaction from the Cards side so this is great.

      As I mention in the post, the trade makes less sense from the Cards side, so I don’t completely disagree with you, but for different reasons.

      The Cards can probably just drop Taveras in RF for Beltran and Rosenthal for Mujica and hope that the youngsters turn out to be as good as scouts say they will be. Prospect, however, often times disappoint.

      On the other hand, in Stanton they would add a proven asset who, the only time he was put in a legit ML lineup (2012) blasted 37 HRs and had a .600+ slugging %. He is difficult to judge surrounded by the current rif raf the Marlins are rolling out there, especially if you are going to look at RBI. Plus at 23, he is 2 yrs younger than Adams and only 2 yrs older than Taveras, His age and production at the ML level is the reason he is so highly valued throughout baseball.

      The Cards are in position to win now and adding a bat that makes everyone in their lineup better may put them over the top. When it is in exchange for assets they do not currently have room for it becomes something, I think, they would at least consider.

      Finally, everyone values their own guys higher than they probably should. From my point of view Stanton is an established elite ML talent. To me Taveras is a guy who could not stay on the field at AAA and Adams could not win a starting spot, but the potential is there according to scouts. Unfortunately, the Marlins would rather have potential than pay for established production.

      By the way, Stanton and Cishek for Freese and a solid prospect? Come on now, I know you were just kidding with that one.

      • Ovadia

        I guess I see your point, to some extent.

        I think you greatly undervalue Matt Adams, first off. He didn’t win a starting position because he’s cut off by a guy named Allen Craig who happens to be driving in his 89th run as we speak. Craig can play corner outfield spots, but who do you bench? Holliday or Beltran?

        I guess my biggest fear with Stanton is that he could quickly become the next Ryan Howard. The numbers strike me as eerily similar. Now, Stanton is younger and under club control for a little while, so you can probably avoid a huge contract should he cease to hit the way Howard has of late, but I remain unconvinced.

        Cishek is worth more than I gave him credit for. I’ll give you that.

        With how well Cardinal’s prospects have been doing as they come up (Carpenter, Wong, Miller, etc.), I’m not inclined to dismiss at this point. Again, he’s the best hitting prospect in all of baseball right now, even if he was injured and didn’t get a full season at AAA.

        Basically, I find it very hard to imagine giving up some very good prospects for one player, especially since Oscar could only hit .250 with 15 homeruns next year, and our offense will be ok.

        Regardless of my thoughts or feelings about it, I don’t think that Mozeliak will give up that kind of firepower for one player. He hasn’t been inclined to previously, and I don’t think he’ll start this off season. Freese may be available, but Mo also likes finding diamonds in the rough (remember that guy named Mujica we got from you for a now-retired minor league player?), so even the Freese for Cishek trade might be a little much. But that I wouldn’t count out.

        I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.

        • Placidin

          Can’t disagree, unlikely to happen, but it’s a lot of fun playing GM.
          We have been trading Stanton all season to every team with even half decent prospects while hoping the whole time that the Marlins sign him long term.
          Oh…and that now-retired minor league player is actually still the 3B for the Marlins AA team, though retirement may not be far off

      • Mike

        Stanton’s a great player, but this right here:

        “the trade makes less sense from the Cards side”

        is why this will never happen. The Cardinals aren’t dumb. Although they draw well, they’re still a small market team. Those teams don’t have sustained success like the Cards by doing things that “make less sense” for them.

        Speculating that the Marlins invent a time machine, go back to 2001 and trade a bag of balls for Pujols would be just as plausible.

  • john weitzman

    Have you been taking to much LSD ? are you serious about this ? What in the world makes you think MO will just trade the names you mentioned for Stanton and Cishek, thats a joke ! The Cards do NOT need either of them when they have those guys.
    First off , YES Freese just might be traded in the offseason and if so it will be to upgrade SS not for Stanton who they do not need. Stanton has never even hit .300. I dont care about his potential power down the road or what he has now. They just dont need him. Freese arbitration might increase him to 5M or so depending on the rest of this season and do you actually think Miami wants to pay that ? The Cardinals dont and that might be why he is moved to open a spot for Wong and Carpenter.
    With Westbrook, Frucal, and most likely C. Carpenter off the books they will have a bunch of money to spend on upgrades, Beltran and arbitration.
    They have already dumped salary in Zep and Boggs.

    Second there is a real good chance they just might resign Beltran at a lower cost if he wants to stay in St.louis. Which it seems he does. IF Taveras is ready move him to Center to platoon with Jay. Jay being the 4th OF.
    If Mo wanted to rid himself of any of those names you mentioned he would have done so prior to the deadline to upgrade his rotation or SS.
    You clearly do not follow Cardinal baseball or you would know MO just wont let these guys go, especially for a deal you propose. Rosenthal, Wacha, Adams, Freese, Taveras, Why dont you just ask for Wong, Matinez and Lyons as well!

    Now if you want to consider Stanton for JUST Adams, Blazek, and some young guns on the farm you might be in line.

    • Placidin

      Awesome, I haven’t heard LSD mentioned in years, nowadays it’s always “are you on crack?” Ha ha!

      You’re right, the Cards don’t NEED Stanton, but I think he would provide comparable production at a lower price than Beltran in 2014 and be a long term solution in RF there after. He will probably never hit .300, but he will hit 35-40 HRs annually, have a good OBP and, have a ton of RBI, in a good lineup like the Cards’. The Cards are a team in position to win for the next few years and replacing a 37 yr old with a 23 yr old with equal production may keep them there.

      The Marlins have a bunch of money coming off the books also, so I think they would pay for Freese if it meant getting the other pieces, Either way, he is a minor part of the deal who happens to fill a need for the Marlins and seems out of the Cards plans.

      What if we take out the pitcher and make it just Tavares, Adams and Freese?
      I did not have the pitcher in there initially, but thought it would be good to get a replacement for Cishek.

      • john weitzman

        I agree Stanton surrounded by Carpenter, Wong , Holliday, Craig, Molina would probably do a lot of damage and help this line up at a much cheaper cost than Beltran. He might even have a better season than 2012 before Ramirez left.

        There is a way in St. Louis called the “Cardinal Way” Stanton has to fit that mold for MO to even give a thought to any type of trade.

        Freese and Adams, I would jump on in a sec. BUT I am not MO. Not Taveras, I would give him threw next spring to see if he can play. Even further. Throw in some pitchers like, Butler or Freeman and Blair. Its always nice to dream !

        If and when Freese goes, I see a SS upgrade over a cheaper OF unless Mo can pull them both off. Stanton being one. They need Taveras in center if he can switch and there is no better team in teaching new positions than the Cardinals.

  • Eduardo Vinas

    I’m a huge marlins fan and that trade would be amazing for the marlins! I dont see it happening though, Taveras is a for sure prospect and run producer so he can take over at RF for beltran not CF when ever cardinals think he’s ready which he already is. Marlins don’t need adams we have Lomo as he’s shown when healthy he is a solid middle of the order bat. Cardinals are good where they are at and with the injury prone pitching staff they have, im sure they would need to keep rosenthal , wacha etc…