As Miami Marlins fans, we have become accustomed to the rumor mill swirling over our young talent constantly. But at not time will the mill been more active and frothing than when it becomes evident that the Marlins will have to trade Giancarlo Stanton. That time may not be now, but it will be within the next year, and Marlins fans will have to hear hundreds of rumors flying on a daily basis.
Numerous teams would be in the hunt for Stanton, including the Cubs, Tigers, Angels, Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Giants, Twins, and Mariners. You’d have to give up top young players, and then sign Stanton to a huge long-term deal.
Of course, the team Cafardo sells the most as a Stanton bidder is the Boston Red Sox, and with good reason. The Red Sox are flush with prospect depth at positions the Marlins need.
Assuming the Red Sox would put Xander Bogaerts and Henry Owens on their no-trade list, the Marlins have always liked Will Middlebrooks and certainly feel Garin Cecchini is a top prospect. Add one of them to a package of Matt Barnes, Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts? Would that be enough? Would that be too much for the Sox to give up?
Jackie Bradley Jr and Garin Cecchini are the second- and third-ranked prospects in the Red Sox organization, according to John Sickels of Minor League Ball. They are both B+-ranked players with good upside and promising careers. But not including Xander Bogaerts in any deal is both understandable and possibly backbreaking to any potential trade. Of the pieces being offered, Bogaerts would not only be the best player but he would also be the one playing the position of most need, as the Marlins are currently suffering through Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop. Both Cecchini and Middlebrooks are questionable defensive plays at third base going forward, though first base is also a team need. Bradley Jr. is a spectacular center field athlete and a good future hitter, but the Marlins have a similar (if worse) version of that player in Jake Marisnick.
The addition of a bevy of other players is what should entice Miami into a potential trade. Cafardo throws in the names of Matt Barnes, Christian Vazquez, and Mookie Betts into a potential trade. Betts is the highest-ranking of the three according to Sickels, as he is ranked fifth and said to have interesting power but a questionable future at second base. Barnes is a potential mid-rotation starter going into a minor league system filled with potential mid-rotation starters. Vazquez is an almost-MLB-ready catching prospect with great defensive chops and a potentially developing offensive game, but he files more as a backup.
Would such a package be enough? I think Miami has received similar packages in the past, and they could at least afford to shop around. The supposed package from the Pittsburgh Pirates last season had similar quantity but an A-level player in Jameson Taillion. The Red Sox offer depth, but not one premium, A-level talent. Is that something that Miami can afford to take after having receive depth and A-level talent in the Miguel Cabrera trade? Substituting Bogaerts for either Cecchini or Bradley would do it, but the Red Sox have Bogaerts featuring prominently into their future plans.
The Red Sox may be a good fit once the Marlins come down to the point of needing to trade Stanton. A package like the one described is competitive, but should be one of a handful of options the team has. It is an acceptable starting point for the discussion, but the offer of depth over premium talent is a big question for Miami to answer. What do you Fish Stripers think? Let us know in the comments below!