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Friday, December 01, 2017

Giants still in on Stanton, though hurdles remain

The Giants are still widely considered to be the front-runners to land the big right-handed outfielder if he is indeed dealt out of Miami. However, there are still obstacles that lay ahead, including Stanton's no-trade clause, the Marlins asking price and Stanton's huge remaining salary.

We'll start with the list of prospects the Marlins would like in return from the Giants if the two come to an agreement, and it's the Giants top pitching prospect as well as three others in the organization's top-5. RHP Chris Stratton (3), OF Heliot Ramos (1), OF/1B Chris Shaw (2) and Brian Reynolds (5) are the group of prospects the Marlins are reportedly seeking, which would essentially wipe out the Giants top end of their farm system, but if the Marlins are indeed willing to eat 20% of Stanton's deal, then it may make it worth the price. Stanton is one of a handful of hitters throughout baseball that could come in and immediately make an impact on this lineup by making everyone else better and giving the Giants a power bat with early 2000's Barry Bonds-type impact power hitter. Now, if the Giants have to part with their top four prospects and take on that crazy 290+ million dollar deal that Stanton is under, then it becomes a bit too big of a pill to swallow in my opinion. I mean, if they could talk the Marlins out of Beede (which would be highly unlikely) it would make it a little more tolerable.

Young Giants bats tend to do better after they're dealt than they ever would with the Giants anyway, as they haven't developed any decent everyday players since Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford, and all the guys they tried out in 2017 just didn't look like able big league hitters, aside from maybe Austin Slater for a brief glimpse. Over the last decade plus, the Giants have clearly been better at developing pitching than they have at developing hitters, especially guys with power, so giving up three bats that could end up being something for a guy who's a top-5 impact bat in baseball, then I'd be all for it.

This conversation could be moot ultimately though if Stanton doesn't drop his no-trade clause for the Giants. Now, consensus is that he would, although he's made it clear that his primary destination lies in Los Angeles with the Dodgers, who play their home games within an hour of where Stanton grew up and went to high school. He really just wants to win though, apparently, and the Giants should be considered as a team with a decent shot at doing so if they did indeed land the slugger. They do have a couple of other small holes that they also need to address (third base, center field and maybe some bullpen depth and another veteran starting pitcher to add to the mix), but if they brought in Stanton to play left or right, it would allow them to go more defensively minded at third and center, which tend to be cheaper, more attainable style players.

So yes, as we enter December, the Giants are still very much in the Giancarlo Stanton mix, and although I don't expect anything to happen immediately on this subject, I do expect a resolution on the Stanton situation in Miami to resolve itself before Christmas. It wouldn't surprise me if the Marlins held onto him if they don't receive the exact offer they want, and may re-visit this situation in July before the trade deadline. However, with Stanton coming off an MVP season, he's got an all-time sell-high moment right now and with his injury history, a couple minor injuries early in the season could do major damage to his trade value by mid-summer and of course, he'll have to have another season in the same ballpark of his 2017 campaign in order for his trade value to be where it is now, so now is really the most sensible and safest time to make a deal.

We've talked about some outfielders who could be on the Giants radar if they don't land Stanton, mainly J.D. Martinez, Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., however, another name to apparently add to that mix is Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Now I do like McCutchen, although he's not the same player now as he was 3-5  years back in his prime. He's still a solid professional hitter with plus power and decent speed and range in the outfield though and is coming off a nice rebound season in 2017 after arguably his worst full season in his career in 2016. He's a few years older than Stanton and obviously not the impactful power bat Stanton is, but is under contract through next year and is entering his age 31 season, meaning he should still have another couple of years of decent baseball left, at least. The thing with him is, I don't think he alone would turn this Giants lineup into a true contender like Stanton would. They'd probably need to go out and get a third basemen that could hit as well in order to help one the NL's worst lineup from 2017. I mean, if Stanton isn't coming to town, I wouldn't be opposed to Andrew McCutchen as the consolation, although I'd expect them to upgrade third base in the process as well as solidify left field (leaving Hunter Pence and Denard Span as a platoon in RF),

There are still a lot of ways this offseason could go, and if they don't land Stanton, they could go a completely different route in general and maybe go with the young squad and start a semi-rebuild. I highly doubt that a full on rebuild will come to fruition with Buster Posey, Crawford, Brandon Belt, MadBum, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Mark Melancon and the likes still under contract for multiple seasons to come, although all it takes is a few trades and that core could be broken up and turned into young prospects with an eye on 2020 and beyond. Again, I doubt that's the route the Giants will choose, but here we are on December 1st, and the team has still yet to make a single move that will have any impact on the 2018 roster... I really hope that by my post next Friday, we'll have some answers.

Extras: I'm going to try to get another post in tomorrow regarding some of the other guys out there besides Stanton and McCutchen who the Giants should be looking at. The arbitration season is upon us now, and some guys could become free agents that aren't at the moment, although the likely of anyone of significance being non-tendered this day in age is very rare. Usually they are just dealt away before it comes to that if a team thinks their current player will cost too much in the process and decide to actually get something for him rather than non-tendering him and getting no compensation from the next team he signs with. So hopefully, with this part of the offseason here, some things will start to fall into place and moves will finally start happening.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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2 Comments:

  • At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dude, I don't wanna jynx it but I think Giants will get either Ohtani and/or Stanton, with a good chance to get both. If we could get those two they could trot Panda back out to third for all I care, our OF would be sick and our pitching would be tops... Make the blockbuster moves Bobby Evans!

     
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