There is bound to be a wave of trade rumors surrounding Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton this season thanks to the Marlins' unique situation. Stanton will likely be offered a long-term extension, but if he declines to sign with Miami, there will be a plethora of trade offers on the table for the young righty outfielder.
These are two new teams who might have the caliber of players to trade to Miami for Stanton. The Red Sox had the ninth-best farm system heading into the 2013 season according to Minor League Ball's John Sickels's farm system rankings, while the Twins had the seventh-ranked system (these two teams actually sandwiched the Marlins on that list). According to Baseball Prospectus, those teams were 16th and fourth respectively.
Each team has a fairly big name that ranks among the ten best prospects who would anchor the deal. For the Red Sox, it would almost certainly be shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who ranked fourth in Baseball America's midseason top 50 prospects list. For the Twins, Byron Buxton (first) and Miguel Sano (third) would be potential highlights of a deal.
As we went over last week, Stanton's trade value has dipped a bit since the start of the year. The combination of playing under his established performance level and losing a team-controlled pre-arbitration year has made Stanton less valuable in a trade. But he is still one of the few "superstar-caliber" players who might be available in the trade market, and that itself brings value.
How much value could the Fish get back? Any trade would have to start with one elite prospect and two other top-50 talents if the Marlins are not going to get the two top-ten players the Fish got for Miguel Cabrera. The Marlins would be trading with Stanton's value at its lowest, so it is likely only one elite prospect would come to Miami. Would a package highlighting Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr work? How about Sano and Alex Meyer as a start to a Twins deal?
The names are fun to throw out, but there is still plenty of time until the offseason. The Marlins have a month and a half left for Stanton to improve his trade value. The team then has the offseason to try and coax Stanton into a long-term deal. If Stanton consistently declines, only then will the Fish begin the arduous (for the fans) process of trading their best player once again. When they do, teams like the Red Sox and Twins might be waiting.