Miami Marlins: Why Giancarlo Stanton sill be traded

MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Giancarlo Stanton
MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Giancarlo Stanton /

Maybe not right this minute. But soon.

Recently, a rumor has been circulating that several teams are interested in trading for Giancarlo Stanton. Except it’s not really recent. This kind of speculation has been around since his rookie season seven years ago.

In fact, in 2010 there was actually a rumor that Jeffery Loria wanted to acquire White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. The swap that was reportedly discussed? Guillen to the Marlins for a 20 year old slugger named Mike Stanton.

Yikes. That rumor’s so old he still went by Mike.

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Stanton is good, and the Marlins haven’t seriously contended in his time here. A lot of eager fans have pinned their team’s hopes for contending on prying Stanton from Miami. Marlins fans have learned to take these rumors with a grain of salt. They hate us because they ain’t us, etc. etc.

But nothing in Miami seems certain these days. The team has struggled to compete despite the highest payroll in Marlins history. What’s worse, they don’t have any reinforcements coming from their farm system, ranked 28th in all of baseball.

If that’s the case, is it possible that even with 10 years and $285 million left on his contract Giancarlo Stanton could be traded?


Why a trade is imminent

At this point, a Stanton trade is almost a foregone conclusion. While the team has tried to add pieces around Stanton for the past few years, more than anything, they simply cannot afford to retain him.

The Marlins are expected to lose about $60 million this season. Even if they manage to successfully trade away salary in Martin Prado, Dee Gordon, Brad Ziegler and others, their payroll is still set to rise in 2018. Stanton’s salary alone jumps from $14.5 to $25 million.

As it stands, the biggest problem the Marlins have is a math one. There is no financial path to contention for this team. If they trade away salary, then they need to replace it with quality, affordable players.

You can’t buy players like that, and none really exist in the system. Brian Anderson and Derek Dietrich probably don’t get you to the postseason. Alternatively, the Marlins can’t continue to invest at a loss.

So, if this is a team that’s losing money and doesn’t really have any options to upgrade, then they will not pay a slugger, no matter how great he is, $25-$30 million annually to play on a bad team. Rest assured, they cannot.


There is a silver lining though. Despite the size and length of his record breaking contract, this season Stanton has successfully changed the conversation surrounding him.

He has pivoted from two injury marred season into his best campaign since he was the runner up to MVP Clayton Kershaw in 2014.  At the All-Star Break, Stanton was worth 2.2 WAR and hit 26 homeruns, the most in the NL.

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Obviously there are a lot of moving parts to his contract. His 2020 opt out and his full no trade clause (which would need to be waived) complicate the process for the Marlins and any potential trade partners.

Still, Stanton has really helped his trade value this year and teams are taking notice again. That, and the Marlins finances, may force their hand.