Stanton Too Risky For The Red Sox!

By Pete Saunders – @Bossportsaddict
While I have not officially been diagnosed with ADD, my ability to watch a Red Sox game without scrolling through my twitter timeline every 5 minutes leads me to believe I have a severe case of it.  Either that or I am like the other 95% of you out there with an attention span of a fruit fly. While reading a story on Twitter about how David Price was scheduled to throw for first time since July, I listened to Tom Caron narrate yet another moon shot by Stanton whose club was trailing as it usually does when he goes yard.  Then it hit me, what would Stanton be like if he were traded to Boston and played in games that really matter?  I’ve seen and heard several people on TV, radio and social media, including Terry Cushman the proprietor of this site, who have been clamoring for the Sox to do what it takes to acquire the South Beach slugger.  I mean who wouldn’t want a guy with the ability to hit balls onto the Mass Pike on a nightly basis?  Me, that’s who.  Here are 4 reasons why I would shy away from him:
  • Compensation – Who do you want to give up?  If the lingering Celtics/Cavs trade has taught us anything, its that you have to give up a lot to get a lot.  The Sox should be prepared to lose the likes of Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, Jason Groome and more.  So you’re willing to sacrifice young talent like Benny and others because you still have Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts right?  Wrong.  Xander and JBJ are both clients of Scott Boras so the chances that they will both stay with the Sox after their current contracts expire are the same as Price and Dennis Eckersley sharing a pumpkin ale at the Cask N Flagon.  Speaking of contracts..
  • Hefty Contract – The “Salary Cap” (also called a competitive balance tax by MLB), is defined as “an arrangement in which teams whose total payroll exceeds a certain figure (determined annually) are taxed on the excess amount in order to discourage large market teams from having a substantially higher payroll than the rest of the league.”  Stanton’s contract after 2017 breaks down like this:
    • 2018 – $25M
    • 2019 – $26M
    • 2020 – $26M (Player Opt out Clause after season)
    • 2021 – $29M
    • 2022 – $29M
    • 2023 – $32M
    • 2024 – $32M
    • 2025 – $32M
    • 2026 – $29M
    • 2027 – $25M
    • 2028 – $25M ($10M club buyout option)
Additional Contract Notes:
  • Full No Trade Clause
  • Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, All Star: $50,000
  • MVP: $100,000
  • LCS MVP: $250,000
  • World Series MVP: $500,000
  • Age 38 by the end of the contract
I understand that Stanton is a bonafide super star right now, but once he hits his early to mid 30’s you are going to be paying him Price money (or more if he opts out in 2020) for a guy whose body has taken a pounding at such a young age. Which leads me to my next concern..
  • Health– Given Dave Dombrowki’s recent luck with players he trades for staying healthy, does he really want to acquire a guy who prior to this year has been unable to finish 3 straight seasons due to injury?  Of course no one could forget September 11th, 2014 when he was hit in the face by a Mike Fiers fast ball that ended his season and almost his career.  If you stack that on top of 46 games he missed in 2012, the 50 missed in 2013, the left hand fracture in 2015 and the groin injury that ended his season last year, it makes you ponder what kind of physical shape he will be in when he is halfway through that enormous contract.  Can you imagine the type of verbal abuse he would take from the likes of WEEI, The Sports Hub and CSNNE if he can’t live up to expectations.  Speaking of expectations..
  • Pressure of Playing in Boston – Everything I’ve read about Stanton as a person and a player has been positive.  Of course the same could be said about Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and our own David Price before they arrived in Boston.  The pressure to win in a big market town where the media and fans are as rabid as the Coyote that sauntered through my backyard yesterday morning is too much for some players to handle.  The lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of the sheep..or Felger, Mazz, Minihane, Tanguay et al.  Stanton has been quietly tucked away on a small market team with little to no media coverage or playoff pressure.  What happens when he goes starts slow in the spring or goes into a slump in late August or Early September with the Yankees nipping on the Sox heals and the media whips up a fresh batch of hot takes?  Can he stand the heat or will he snap and go all “David Price” on a poor local beat writer?

There is no question that the Red Sox need a big bat in the lineup to replace the home run power they lost when David Ortiz retired.  They have missed that big fly potential in their line up all season.  That one guy you have to pitch around late in the game to avoid giving up a lead with one swing of the bat.  However, Stanton is not that guy.  The risk and the unknown is too great for that type of money.  Rather than swinging for the fences and risking a depleted team after a blockbuster trade, the Sox best course of action should be to target a player like Justin Smoak, Joey Gallo or Joey Votto who won’t break the bank but can still provide some pop.  The compensation for each wouldn’t be like the haul Stanton would require and while player mentioned strikes out a lot, that is the direction of today’s game.  Long term the Stanton trade doesn’t make sense.  Let him go to NY and end his career like C.C. Sabathia, Jacoby Ellsbury or Arod.

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