- Drew Hallowell/Getty
- Giancarlo Stanton has a full no-trade clause that could stand in the way of the Miami Marlins’ plan to shed payroll.
- While he has reportedly told the the Marlins that the Los Angeles Dodgers are his No. 1 choice, the team has given him an ultimatum: accept a trade or play for a stripped-down roster.
- The Giants and the Cardinals are said to have already made official offers for Stanton.
With Giancarlo Stanton’s full no-trade clause looming as a potential roadblock to making a deal, the Miami Marlins are using every bit of leverage they have in an effort to move their star right fielder.
The Marlins are reportedly trying to reduce their 2018 payroll from a projected $140 million to around $90 million, and trading Stanton, who is owed $25 million in 2018, seems to be the most straightforward path to reaching that goal. His massive contract runs through the 2028 season, and while he can opt out and become a free agent after 2020, that’s not a commitment new team owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman are comfortable with.
But Stanton has a say in where he ends up, and that’s where things start to get hairy. According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, Stanton wants to go to his hometown team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the promise of a Southern California homecoming and the team’s streak of five consecutive division titles, the allure of Chavez Ravine is easy to see.
But according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins have given Stanton an ultimatum: accept the trade the Marlins want or prepare to be the only big-name player in yet another potentially lengthy rebuilding project.
If Stanton clings to his no-trade clause for the entire offseason, the Marlins will be forced to shed other contracts to meet their target payroll. Trading Dee Gordon, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich, all Silver Slugger winners, would at least get them down to around $112 million. As good as Stanton is – he was named National League MVP earlier this month – it would be close to impossible for him to carry a team with so many holes in its lineup.
It’s a deft negotiating tactic by the Marlins. Stanton has gone on record as saying that he does not want to be part of a rebuild next year; now, he must choose between accepting a trade or going back on his previous statements.
Unfortunately for him, the Dodgers have not been among the teams most frequently connected to the trade discussions. They’d certainly benefit from his power, but with Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, and Andrew Toles all under contract, improving the outfield isn’t exactly a top priority.
Meanwhile, two other teams, the Giants and the Cardinals, have reportedly made official offers for the slugger, giving Miami options as the hot stove continues to warm up. Stanton’s feelings on those destinations are unknown, but they don’t figure to be particularly attractive to him. The Giants are coming off a 64-98 campaign, and while the Cardinals are a model organization, the city of St. Louis doesn’t have much in common Los Angeles.
Whatever happens, the rest of the league will be watching closely – it seems that Stanton and the Japanese phenom Shohei Otani have caused teams to hold off on other offseason moves while these generational stars make their decisions. MLB’s annual winter meetings are set to kick off on December 10.