If you are following the baseball offseason, the main storyline you are likely to hear is about the potential trade of Miami Marlins star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlin’s slugger was just named National League MVP after putting career hitting numbers. Stanton hit .281 and smacked a league-high 59 home runs. However, due to the Marlins recent change of ownership, Stanton has been tagged with a for sale sign ahead of the 2018 season.
Why would the Marlins trade an MVP you might ask? Stanton is in the middle of a 13-year $325,000,000 contract with his annual salary jumping up to $25 million in 2018. He is signed through 2029 when he will be 39 years old. However, this large contract is making it difficult to find suitors for the now 28-year-old star.
Not only do the Marlins want their trade partner to take on a majority of the remaining years of Stanton’s financial obligations, they would like a competitive prospect package in return.
As rumors flowed through the GM meetings this past week, it became clearer that this deal is going to be more complicated and could last longer than expected. Not only do the Marlins want to find the best compromise of prospects for the mega-contract being taken off their hands. Stanton also has a rare, full no-trade clause as well as an opt-out clause after 2020 (according to spotrac.com).
So, the big question is where do the Phillies fit into this whole equation? The Phillies who have been rumored to have been in talks with the Marlins on the surface, but may not be the ideal location for the Marlins to trade Stanton if he even agrees. Where this deal makes sense is in the finances.
The Phillies have minimal long-term money tied up on their current roster. They could be one of the few teams in the league that could afford to take the remainder of that mega-contract and could lead to them giving less of their top end prospects back to Miami. Trading for Stanton would also allow the Phillies to break up their current outfield prospects in possible trades for pitching help.
With all of this being said, the Phillies trading for the National League MVP would be a major move for a team looking to plant roots under a new leader with no MLB managerial experience in Gabe Kapler. But keep an eye on the Phillies this offseason as they look to be in a position to make a big splash in the trade market.