The Miami Marlins supposedly received an offer for Giancarlo Stanton from the Pittsburgh Pirates that caught the team's eye. Well, maybe. Reports are iffy as to whether or not the team actually received an offer to which the club would listen. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald said the Fish said "no" immediately to every deal involving Stanton, but Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said the Pirates made a "substantial offer."
Well, count Marlin Maniac editor Ehsan Kassim, formerly of this website, as one of the folks who thinks the Fish got a major offer from the Pirates. According to one of his sources, the Pirates' trade offer included both top pitching prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.
The source told Marlin Maniac that the Pirates offered the Marlins a compelling offer, which included both cost-controlled major league players and a top pitching prospect. The Pirates offered the Marlins rookie pitcher Gerrit Cole, outfielder Starling Marte, and prospects James Taillon and Stetson Allie for Stanton, Steve Cishek, and Justin Ruggiano.
If this is true, it is a completely fantastic deal for the Fish. The Fish would be acquiring two immediate rotation parts in Cole, who appears to be succeeding at the Major League level right now, and Taillon, who is a top prospect and has just as high a ceiling as Cole. They would also get a ready outfield replacement for Stanton in the team-controlled Marte and pick up the a potential first baseman of the future in Stetson Allie. In return, the team would be sending Stanton along with closer Steve Cishek, whose value we've analyzed here, and Justin Ruggiano, who was discussed here.
Cishek and Ruggiano hold significant value, even if it is hidden in their current roles. Yes, Cishek is just a reliever, but if he is a one-plus win reliever, he would still be worth more than the likely $10 million that he will make next year. Ruggiano is similarly a 1.5-win player if playing full time, meaning he too could provide surplus value in arbitration. Both players are expected to be $10 million surplus value assets. That would serve to beef up the value of the trade, with question on Stanton's health and recent productivity putting a dent on his trade value.
But while the offer here seems good for the Marlins, it seems questionable for the Pirates. The reason why the Pirates were linked with Stanton is that the team wanted to fill an outfield position; trading one of their starting outfielders in Marte makes little sense. A more likely scenario would be for them to send top prospect Gregory Polanco. Ruggiano would potentially fill the other gap, but it is questionable whether he is any better than the litany of fourth outfielders that the Pirates have, such as Travis Snider. As for Cishek, he has less value on a team like the Pirates that is set in their bullpen. With Mark Melancon and the injured Jason Grilli on board, Cishek would be a third wheel in the pen.
No matter whether the deal was made or if it was good or bad for Miami, it sounds as though owner Jeffrey Loria wanted no part in the move.
The Pirates caught the eye of the Marlins front office enough with an offer that they seriously entertained the offer and brought it to owner Jeffery Loria. Loria had already decided from before that he was not interested in trading Stanton before he has a chance to offer Stanton an extension to be a Marlin for the long haul.
The source says that the Marlins are ready to make a substantial extension offer to Stanton, and while the quoted figure seems too high for me, it is good to hear the Fish are even considering extending its star player.
Take all of this with a grain of salt, obviously, but it seems as though the Fish received some offer most likely and ultimately declined it. If it was a deal like this one though, I would have been hard-pressed to say "no."