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MLB Trade Rumors: Should Marlins sell high on Giancarlo Stanton?

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After reportedly clearing waivers, the face of the franchise is the best player available on the August trade market.

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Jeffrey Loria’s reign as Marlins owner will mercifully come to an end this offseason, but he’ll be tempted by one more enormous trade opportunity on the way out the door. Fresh off seizing the franchise’s single-season home run record, Giancarlo Stanton has cleared revocable waivers, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. That allows Miami to negotiate a potential deal with any of the other 29 MLB teams.

In the midst of a historic August power surge, Stanton has re-established himself as one of the National League’s most valuable players. He’s batting .283/.374/.640 with 43 home runs through 115 games, contributing 4.4 Wins Above Replacement (per FanGraphs).

The 27-year-old has a decade remaining on the sport’s richest contract, but Passan notes that several contenders have shown interest, anyway:

The market for Stanton may not be as limited as believed, either, according to sources, despite the 10 years and $295 million remaining on his contract. At least four teams have inquired about the possibility of trading for him, sources said, and talks on a potential Stanton deal with one team before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline had progressed to the point where the sides were exchanging names of players who could come back to Miami in return.

He goes on to compare the Fish to the 2012 Boston Red Sox, who dumped the combined salaries of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto in an August trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Those four veterans were owed $262.5 million beyond the current season, yet Boston still received five young players in return.

There’s a legitimate case for trading Stanton now:

  • In the middle of his prime and injury-free, his value might never be higher.
  • It’s a means of acquiring talent at several positions, specifically controllable pitchers that the organization desperately needs.
  • Clearing all of those future obligations gives incoming ownership more freedom to build a roster it believes in.
Loria has a miserable track record of moving productive veterans in lop-sided deals.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the simple counter-argument is that fans don’t trust Loria and this front office to get it done correctly. They’ll pick the wrong trade partner, or settle for the wrong prospects, or under-estimate the leverage they have.

The renewed possibility of an in-season Stanton move—which, to be clear, is still low—means we have another reason to cherish every glorious swing he takes down the stretch.