More often than not, it's not easy to part with young talent. Not for the front office, the fans, or the team. Basically, it's usually not easy for anyone. There will always be a lingering feeling of what could have been had a team kept a certain player for the long-haul.
When push comes to shove, however, certain deals must be made in order to preserve the long-term future of a given team. This is what the Marlins will be pondering during the 2016 offseason. While they may be able to make some improvements strictly from the free agent market, the likelihood of that solving all of their problems is slim to none. Names such as Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich have been thrown around as potential trade pieces. Alas, there is another name that will be brought up during winter meetings, whether it's this year or the next.
Trust me, I know how difficult it is to see Stanton's name and the word "trade" in the same sentence. However, at the end of the day, this is a business, and if something happens in the near future that forces Jeffrey Loria's hand, Stanton is a candidate for negotiations.
Although he has put up great numbers since debuting in 2010, Stanton has been somewhat injury prone throughout his career. There was the knee surgery in 2012, which was followed by a hamstring injury the 2013 season. Obviously, the injury he suffered in 2014 from a pitching hitting him square in the cheek was a freak accident, but he followed that up by only appearing in 74 games in 2015 as a result of a broken hand occurring in late June.
All in all, he's missed 223 games since the 2012 season. That's an average of approximately 45 games a year over that span. Couple that with the potential haul of prospects that Miami could receive in return for the slugger and the idea becomes intriguing.
The caveat here is Stanton's contract. He has a full no-trade clause included in his massive contract which runs through 2028 (with a player opt out in 2020). Even if you get him to waive his no-trade clause, it may be tough for the Marlins to find a suitor because of how large Giancarlo's contract is. With a total of $325 million, he is due for a major bump in salary starting in 2017. After the $14 million he will be paid in 2017, his salary will go up to $25 million in 2018, and so on. No matter how talented he is, many teams will balk at the idea of being responsible for the bulk of his contract. Then again, there are several big money teams who may jump at the chance to acquire Stanton, no matter how much they'll have to pay him.
Look, I know the chances of Stanton being traded are much less than the chances of him remaining a Marlin for (at least several) years to come. I get that. Over the next year or two, circumstances may change. It's possible that Miami will not be able to get the starting pitching they need this offseason or the next. If that holds true and the club falters, it will be time to consider the tried and true Marlins tradition of cleaning house. It's also possible that Giancarlo will want to be traded to a contending team.
Keep in mind that this is somewhat conjecture. I understand how important Giancarlo Stanton is to this franchise. But as I previously stated, this is a business. More often than not, business priorities override emotional preferences in the market of professional sports. Therefore, to say that trading Stanton is impossible or will definitely never happen would be ignorant to the harsh realities of major league baseball.
What do you guys think? If certain events transpire, would it be worth it to trade Stanton? Or is he too valuable to trade, regardless of the future of this team? Let us know.