Spring Training is in full bloom and baseball is here once again. That means the constant Giancarlo Stanton trade rumors are soon to get under way as well.
The Marlins have recently shown a willingness to extend Stanton’s contract, but Stanton, who is under team control through the 2017 season, has not expressed a willingness to sign a long-term deal with the team, unless the franchise shows Stanton that they are headed in the right direction.
Until an extension is finalized, though, the trade rumors will continue. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe mentions in his article today that other general managers around the league drool about the chance of adding Stanton to their everyday lineup.
Cafardo believes the best match for a potential Stanton trade for the Marlins would be the Boston Red Sox.
Numerous teams would be in the hunt for Stanton, including the Cubs, Tigers, Angels, Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Giants, Twins, and Mariners. You’d have to give up top young players, and then sign Stanton to a huge long-term deal.
But in reality, the team that matches up best with Miami is Boston. The Red Sox have the young players Miami wants and they have the financial resources to sign him.”
Of those teams Cafardo mentions on the top, the Tigers, Phillies, Angels, Yankees, and Giants seem to lack the top major league ready prospects the Marlins would want.
The Cubs, Dodgers, Twins, and Mariners have deep pockets in terms of prospects, and are teams to keep an eye on when the Stanton sweepstakes does open up.
However, like Cafardo mentions, the match between the Marlins and Sox seems to be an interesting one.
So what does Cafardo believe the Sox would have to give up to land Stanton?
Assuming the Red Sox would put Xander Bogaerts and Henry Owens on their no-trade list, the Marlins have always liked Will Middlebrooks and certainly feel Garin Cecchini is a top prospect. Add one of them to a package of Matt Barnes,Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts? Would that be enough? Would that be too much for the Sox to give up?”
Any talks of a potential Stanton trade would certainly start with the Marlins asking for the Red Sox top prospect, Xander Bogaerts. The Sox are too high on him and that he has already seemed to establish himself in the majors like keeps him off the market. I highly doubt the Marlins would get Bogaerts.
Henry Owens is the Sox top pitching prospect and he is a left hander, which would make it difficult for the Marlins to pry him from the Red Sox. The Marlins are deep in pitching prospects and while adding another potential strong arm to their future rotation would be great, it does not fit the Marlins overall need.
The Marlins have always been intrigued about Middlebrooks, but adding Cecchini is likely to be the superior player for his career and would fit in the Marlins lineup nicely. John Sickels of Minor League Ball has him ranked as the Sox third best prospect and had this to say about him:
3) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Grade B+: I won’t be talked out of the B+ grade like I was last year. Absolutely love this bat and superior on-base skills. Have to see where he fits defensively. I’ve gone back-and-forth with Bradley at 2 and this could flip depending on how I want to slot them in the Top 50, but I will worry about that next month.
Yes, the Marlins have Jake Marisnick and Marcell Ozuna who could patrol center field for the next 6+ seasons, but if the Marlins could land Jackie Bradley Jr., the team would need to jump all over that. Bradley is a more polished hitter than either Marlins outfielder and has the potential to blossom into a star. The same cannot be said about Marisnick nor Ozuna.
Mookie Betts is an up-and-coming prospect that would fill the hole the Marlins have at second base. Betts has always shown a decent ability to get on base and added power to his game last season. Add that on with adequate speed and he could be the Marlins longterm solution at second base for a long time.
Matt Barnes is a right handed pitching prospect that could work his way into becoming a mid-rotation arm or a strong bullpen arm down the road. Barnes has posted double figure strikeout rates in all but one of his minor league stops.
Finally, Christian Vazquez profiles as a backup catcher that could offer some pop from behind the plate. Vazquez profiles to be one of the better defensive catchers and is likely to be a far better hitter than the Marlins current backup, Jeff Mathis.
If I were the Marlins GM and the Red Sox offered this trade to me now, what would my reaction be?
I love Stanton as a Marin more than anything, but I would have to take this deal from the Sox and not look bad. Not only would the Marlins be fill holes in their organization, they would likely position themselves to be perennial contenders in a just a season or two.
What do you guys think? Would a Garin Cecchini, Matt Barnes, Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts offer be enough to get the Marlins to bite? Sound off in the comment section!