By Terry Cushman – @AVIDBOS_PODCAST
1 – Sam Travis (1B): Major league ready, .295 overall minor league average.
2 – Blake Swihart (C/LF/1B) Major league ready, .270 hitter in 355 MLB at bats.
3 – Rusney Castillo (OF) To Offset $37,000,000 of Stanton’s Salary
4 – Hanley Ramirez (1B) To Offset up to $44,000,000 (2019 option) of Stanton’s salary.
The Red Sox would then pick up the remaining $214,000,000 of Giancarlo Stanton’s contract.
Sam Travis could very well be the next Kevin Youklis. He hit .263 during his stints with the Red Sox last season. Travis did not show a ton of power, but has throughout his minor league career, and is bound to start driving balls over the fence if given an opportunity to play everyday.
Blake Swihart also has immense upside with several years of control remaining on his contract. He hits very well for contact, has highly underrated baserunning speed, and is extremely versatile around the field. The Red Sox currently have a great catching tandem between Vazquez and Leon, so Swihart is very expendable at the moment.
Hanley Ramirez & Rusney Castillo are in the trade purely to offset some of Stanton’s contract. If Hanley’s 2019 option vests, the Marlins will be on the hook for up to $81,000,000 between both players. However, both contracts are short term, and will be completely off the Marlins’ books within three years, as opposed to another ten years at HUGE money for Stanton.
Castillo also may have more value than most people might think. He swung a good bat in AAA Pawtucket last season with a .314/.350/.512 slash line, as well as 15 home runs & 43 RBI’s. Castillo was never called up purely because the Red Sox could not afford to exceed the luxury tax threshold. By staying under the luxury tax for 2017, the penalties will be reset completely for 2018, thus giving them the flexibility to pursue a giant contract such as Stanton’s.
Is this the mega-deal that Derek Jeter and the Marlins are looking for? Probably not. But considering the previous ownership was extremely reckless in signing Stanton to such a large and lengthy contract, this is definitely a FAIR deal. Especially since Stanton could opt out and become a free agent following the 2020 season. So why give up a huge package of prospects if we might only have him for three years? Especially when J.D. Martinez or Eric Hosmer could easily give you 30HRS/100RBI’s for much less money than Stanton is owed, and giving up ZERO prospects?
As of this week, of the eight teams that checked in on Stanton, none were willing to pick up AT LEAST $200,000,000 of his deal AND give up top prospects (according to Bob Nightengale/USA TODAY). I do not expect a deal to be reached until the MLB winter meetings at the very earliest. Either way, let another front office make the stupid mistake of overpaying, if that’s how this saga shakes out.
In closing, I would also add that I would be willing to trade the same exact package for Joey Votto. Since Votto has played 158+ games in all of the last three seasons (all 162 in 2017) and has no opt out clause, I would also add one more significant prospect to the package. Even if it’s Jason Groome. Votto unbelievably reached base in 2017 safely in 150 games. ESPN fittingly described him as “the Ted Williams of our generation.” No shit?