By Jonathan Usher – @madduxman
Giancarlo Stanton is obviously the premier slugger in the game. You can throw another name or two into the discussion, but your argument is quickly stifled. Any team would be very fortunate to pencil him into the three or four hole on the lineup card for the next 10 years. As absurd as the signing was at the time, his 13 year $325M (severely backloaded), contract looks pretty fair at this point, given his performance last year and the figures that Harper and Machado are rumored to generate next off-season.
My SECOND largest concern, starts with the word pencil. PENCIL him into the lineup. On September 11, 2014, this beast was horrifically drilled in the face by a Mike Fiers’ 88 MPH fastball. But that wasn’t his first notable injury where he missed significant time, and it certainly wouldn’t be his last.
2011 – Leg & Eye Injuries, Missed 12 games.
2012 – Knee Surgery, Missed 39 games
2013 – Hamstring Injury, Missed 46 games
2014 – Facial Fracture, Lacerations, Dental Damage, Missed the last 17 games
2015 – Broken bone in Left Wrist, Missed 88 games
2016 – ANOTHER 43 games missed
2017 – A season for the ages
See where I’m going with this? There is a consistent pattern here. Of the previous (not counting the season for the ages) 6 seasons, due to injury or rest, he missed more than a season and a half – or more than 25% of his teams’ games (the oft-injured Dustin Pedroia ‘only’ missed 13% over the same stretch). Not really a big deal to the Marlins, since they weren’t going anywhere anyways, and that the actual contract (which was signed AFTER that pitch struck him square in the face) – comes NOW, 10 years and the remaining $295M owed.
Any big market team can, and always will, overpay for a hot commodity, just give them time… I think that this is exactly what the Marlins were hoping for when they signed Stanton to this (at the time) ludicrous 13 year deal. They are shooting for the moon in a trade, as they should, but it probably won’t be there. Most, if not ALL teams know that the Fish overreached in that signing, and won’t give up significant prospects in any deal, regardless of money. Marlins team President Derek Jeter will not take on 30-50M+ in salary because he is trying to free his new club of any and all financial hindrances – Most importantly, Stanton.
My biggest problem with this potential trade is in the previous paragraph. If my favorite team is going to overpay for a free agent, that is one thing (see David Price), but if they are going to overpay in a trade that is another thing altogether. Why would anyone in their right mind overpay AND include multiple prospects? Not that I would, but back up the Brinks truck for Machado or Harper next December, if they float your boat. But the rumors of ‘Benintendi and others’ or ‘Devers and others’, OR ANY OF OUR YOUNG PITCHING, for the largest contract in terms of amount owed are foolish.
Personally, I would be okay sending a Bradley and a couple lower level prospects, or even Bogaerts for Stanton. Only because they are Boras clients, and they ARE GOING to free agency, so you will lose them for nothing eventually anyways. I would even try to do a Price and JBJ deal for Stanton, since as Curt Schilling told me personally via Facebook live, “Price obviously isn’t cut out for Boston”. Obviously, since he has been a complete disaster since that 7yr/$217M, except for his ‘whopping’ 6.2 IP in relief this postseason. In my book, that doesn’t negate the decade of postseason failure pre-2017.
According to multiple sources, Stanton wants to head west – Giants or Dodgers, and probably wouldn’t waive his no-trade-clause to come to Boston anyways. The one wild card in the mix however – is the man himself, BIG PAPI. Now a Red Sox employee, he could schmooze this 28 year old beast, and educate him on how amazing this sports town actually is.