With the story breaking this morning surrounding Giancarlo Stanton and his future in south Florida, Marlins’ fans that were hoping to sign the slugger to a long-term contract extension are in full-blown panic mode. For those of you that haven’t seen it yet, Giancarlo Stanton uttered the sentence that all Marlins’ fans have been dreading.
"“Five months doesn’t change five years.”"
In six words Stanton managed to stab the hearts of fans of the Fish that have been clamoring for the all-star to take home the MVP award this year. Earlier on Marlin Maniac, Ehsan Kassim discussed his thoughts on the situation, as well as wondered “what if” the Marlins had signed Albert Pujols when they were reportedly so close.
While I have maintained for over a year that signing Stanton to an extension is unlikely, I do have some ideas on how they could make it happen. The problem is the heavy risk involved in this plan. I am not saying that this is what the front office should do, only that this is what they must do if they want to keep Stanton above all else.
In Ehsan’s aforementioned article, he advocates trading for Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers. That would be a great start, and Miami certainly would have to look at trading for a proven bat to provide Stanton with some protection. Surely a little part of Stanton dies every time he is intentionally walked, and those numbers are skyrocketing.
It will be difficult to add any proven player at this point in the season, so I am going to fast forward to the point that the Marlins can truly show Stanton that they have changed their approach, the free agent period.
Merely signing a free agent no longer is enough to show Stanton that they are committed to winning after going on a gluttonous spending spree a couple of years ago, only to trade all of the money spent a mere year later. They will need to do something drastic, something that the Marlins front office has refused to do all along;
Offer a no-trade clause.
Rumor has it that the Marlins refusal to offer a no-trade clause to Albert Pujols is the reason they were unable to secure the former slugger’s services. (Not such a bad decision currently) The truth is, the no-trade clause has been necessary for a front office that routinely makes poor decisions in free agency and doesn’t trust their own ability to accurately evaluate talent.
In theory, a team that makes a good signing wouldn’t want to trade that player since his worth would coincide with his deal. Miami has a history of not doing that.
Back to Stanton. To show him that they are committed to building a team for the long haul, they need to sign a position player or two and offer a no-trade clause, or at the very least a limited no-trade clause to show that they aren’t going to bail on the long-term goals the minute Stanton signs a contract. One of those players could be Pablo Sandoval, or maybe even trick Hanley Ramirez into returning to Miami. Some tequila may need to be required, but anything is possible.
The point is that a trade alone won’t be enough. There will have to be some signings with no-trade clauses to prove that the Marlins front office is committed to putting a playoff caliber team on the field every year. Without that Stanton is as good as gone.