Giancarlo Stanton in a Reds Uniform? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Did you sleep through most of last evening? If you did, then, you missed one of those deals that leaves you shaking your head as the Miami Marlins traded Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, and $4MM to Toronto. The Blue Jays sent Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis, Henderson Alvarez, along with prospects Jake Marisnick, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino.

Add this “blockbuster” trade in with last season’s moves which led to the departures of Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from Miami, and you can easily assess why Marlins fans are in an outrage. Within this timeframe, the Marlins have traded their top three starting pitchers along with five starting position players.

Those fans are not alone with their outrage…

Can you honestly blame Stanton? I know former skipper Ozzie Guillen had said Stanton was the only reason for fans to attend and watch Marlins games, but this is truly in the realm of ridiculousness.

Wait. Is that the same avi Stanton had on his Twitter profile last night? I think he had one with him in a Marlins uni then. Might be me…

So as you would obviously suspect, other MLB players (most notably, Bryce Hype-er) and fans from all the different MLB fanbases implored Stanton to seek a trade to their favorite team. Reds fans were no different. Why wouldn’t they be? Got to admit, it would be the most popular deal Walt ever made…even if you included some players that are deemed “untouchable”.

(Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE)

Sure would be a wondrous sight to see Stanton patrolling the outfield at Great American Ball Park, nestled in between Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in the lineup. There’s 100+ HR right there. Easily. GABP is a perfect fit for Stanton’s offense. Well, most ballparks would be. His defense is darn solid as well. A lot to love about Stanton and his game.

And practically every site will have how its team can land Stanton’s services and even speculate on what players could be included in such a deal. That’s good fun to be quite honest, but…

Um, there are some snags here. I don’t think Stanton will be going anywhere. The Marlins have no need to trade Stanton. Zip. Zilch. None. That said, we know you can never say never…

Even before the big Jays-Marlins deal, Stanton, at the age of 23, was already the face of the organization. Well, I think he is. Not sure at this point he would like that label, but it cannot be avoided. Not Reyes. Not even JJ. It IS (and should continue to be) Giancarlo Stanton, and using his own words from his tweet: plain and simple.

Another thing is Stanton isn’t making a ton of money especially when you consider the players the Marlins just shipped north of the border. Not…even…close. Here’s what each of those five players will make in 2013:

Johnson: $13.75MM (in last year of contract)
Buehrle: $11.00MM (will increase to $19MM for 2014)
Reyes: $10.00MM (wil increase to $16MM for 2014)
Buck: $6.50MM (last year of contract)
Bonifacio: arb-eiligible for next two seasons
(contract info provided by Cot’s Contract on Baseball Prospectus)

Stanton is not even eligible for arbitration until after the 2013 season. I’m sure he’ll get a pretty penny then. Nice and shiny one at that. For now, the Marlins literally own him as Stanton cannot become a free agent until the end of the 2016 season at the earliest. Provided they decide there is a deal on the table that simply blows them away, he will continue to be a Marlin. The Marlins can, and should, build the franchise around Stanton, although I do have questions if their front office and owner can actually do so.

All of this…plus’s Joe Frisaro, who covers the Marlins, emphasizes a couple of areas that I covered and more. I suggest reading Frisaro’s take on this.

The Marlins have no intention to trade their All-Star right fielder. According to a source, the slugger pretty much remains untouchable, at least for 2013.Miami has Stanton under club control for one more season before he is eligible for arbitration. And he won’t have the necessary service time to become a free agent until after the 2016 season……Stanton’s role with the organization magnifies now as he has become the face of the franchise.

Another point Frisaro mentions is that Stanton’s reps and the Marlins have not engaged in any talks for a long-term deal. Well, those talks wouldn’t be pleasant ones a this point in time.

I’m sure Walt will do his usual and at the very least, see what the Marlins would like in exchange for Stanton. And I believe he will do more than merely “kick the tires” here. It will most likely be for naught unless Stanton and his agent approach the Marlins brass and demand a trade (instead of pressing for a long-term obligation, an area which the Marlins don’t exactly have a great track record as of late, if at all) or, as I have previously mentioned, a deal come across that the Marlins simply cannot refuse.

I’m not sure which carrier provides service for the Marlins front office (landline or cellular), but I bet they’re working overtime since last evening’s announced trade proposal. Teams may be on hold for a while in order to inquire about Stanton or even Logan Morrison, another Marlins cost-controlled player.

Word from the Twitterverse and other outlets state that Ricky Nolasco, who would be deemed the Marlin’s #1 starter after the trade is finalized, is next to go. Makes sense. He’s due $11.5MM for 2013. Honestly, if I’m Walt, I don’t bite on Nolasco. Don’t even answer the phone if that’s the nature of the call.

Why? Nolasco has had one good season. One. In 2008, he posted an ERA+ of 124. Nolasco’s highest of any other season: 92 in 2010. Just so we’re all on the same page here. Mike Leake hasn’t matched that 124, but his ERA+ for his career (albeit, less seasons) is 97. Nolasco’s is 93. In fact, Leake has posted an ERA+ better than Nolasco every year since Leake’s debut in 2010. Yes, every year.

Get Stanton (if you can even make such a thing happen), pass on Nolasco. Passing on Nolasco is easy. The other, not so much.

Why are we seeing this from the Marlins again? Don’t they usually wait until after winning a World Series to make moves like this? There is a wave of speculation that believes the Marlins are clearing our money for Josh Hamilton.

And if Miami can secure Hamilton, who will play with him? Giancarlo Stanton.