Miami believes Giancarlo Stanton is a long term solution. But his mindset is unknown.
As July comes to a close, the Marlins have made it known that they have no interest in trading away their star right fielder. Stanton is drawing interest from teams around the league, such as the Boston Red Sox, looking to add outfield depth.
While the Marlins are adamant about not dealing Stanton, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports believes there is no better time to trade Stanton than right now, noting he likely will not consider staying in Miami moving forward.
Miami has indeed convinced itself that they will be contenders. In fact, they are so confident that the organization may make a few deals to add an arm or two and a second baseman before July 31. The Marlins are confident that with Jose Fernandez and their starting pitching depth which has been exposed this season, they will be contenders in the years to come. And with their young pieces gaining valuable major league experience, that is the proper mindset.
But that is assuming Stanton remains in right field.
Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna-type players are major league athletes. While the Marlins are known for finding stopgap players, and received a great one in Casey McGehee this season, the Triple-A talent on the roster is limited.
Rosenthal is right with regard to the package that could be sent back to Miami. Stanton has posted a .294/.394/.542 line with 66 RBIs and a WAR of 4.1. He is one of baseball's elite players having a solid season, and the return now would likely be greater than ever.
Stanton has quietly made it clear that he would welcome playing for his hometown Dodgers, or a team that reaches the postseason on a consistent basis. And while the Marlins are not that team right now, they may become that team.
Jeffrey Loria is known for trading away superstars. Josh Beckett, Hanley Ramirez, and Miguel Cabrera are among them. But if he wants to win like he says he wants to win, trading Stanton now is the wrong move.
Miami made the trade with Toronto not to acquire prospects but to get better and arguably is the team it is today because of it. Trading Stanton would bring in more prospects, starting the cycle over again.
Stanton won't decide what he wants to do until he sees winning in Miami is a realistic goal. And it may not be that for at least another year. But for the moment, the Marlins should hold on to Stanton, if for no other reason than to improve their chances moving forward, even if forward is a year and a half.