Stanton has yet to commit or ask to commit long term with the franchise. As a result of this, trade rumors are always going to surround the Marlins star right fielder, that is until the team finally makes a resolution one way or the other on his future with the club. Just earlier this week we learned about a potential conversation the Astros and Marlins had on Stanton and the Astros top two prospects.
Unfortunately for the Marlins fanbase, the Marlins front office may have waited too long in trying to extend Stanton. He will be just one year away from free agency after this season and his production this season should warrant a major pay day for when he hits the market.
For that reason, teams around baseball are keeping their best trading chips on hand, in case Stanton were to hit the trade market. The Boston Red Sox are one of those teams, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. He claims the Sox have been reluctant to trade third baseman Will Middlebrooks, because they want to hold onto him in the case Stanton becomes available.
The other possible reason involves a bit more supposition. Middlebrooks, if he can show something in the second half, could be seen as a possible piece for when Boston tries to make a run at Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton.
While it would obviously take much, much more than Middlebrooks to form any semblance of a trade offer for Stanton — Middlebrooks was batting .197 when he went out with an injured finger; he’s currently at Triple-A Pawtucket on rehab assignment — the Marlins are thought to have had some interest in Middlebrooks at some point last winter.
With his struggles in the big leagues this season and the Red Sox minor league depth, you have to wonder if Middlebrooks would be atop the Marlins wish list if these two teams ever did engage in trade talks.
Earlier this week, Andrew Snyder of Fishstripes took a look at the potential return the Marlins could get on Stanton. The Sox were one of the teams he mentioned and here is what he had to say.
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox would love to add Stanton to their currently punch-less outfield. Their farm system is also loaded with guys the Marlins would be interested in. A package centered on Mookie Betts, Matt Barnes, Garin Cecchini and Blake Swihart might get Miami listening. Betts would fill the second base void currently and for the long term, and Matt Barnes is a near major league ready pitcher who projects as a middle of the rotation starter. Cecchini would provide internal competition at third base for Colin Moran, and Zach Cox. Cecchini might even be good enough defensively to move Moran to first base. Swihart is an offensively talented catching prospect who would be the heir apparent to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, or at least provide options other than J.T. Realmuto, and Kyle Skipworth. Boston might be hesitant to add so many top tier prospects into a deal, but if they rolled out this offer it would be a very tempting proposal.
Regardless of Middlebrooks inclusion in any future Stanton negotiations, the Sox and Marlins seem to matchup well for a trade down the road.