Giancarlo Stanton is angry, and you won’t like him when he’s angry.
Following the agreement between the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins on a 10-player deal that basically depleted the Marlins’ talent, Stanton tweeted that he was “pissed off” and rightfully so.
Stanton at just 22 years old heading into the 2012 season was one of the pieces the Marlins built around by spending an exorbitant amount of money to bring in Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle and Heath Bell.
Well, all three and Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio have been traded as part of the third firesale in the Marlins’ brief history.
As for Stanton, he’s 23 years old, and it seems that all of the other 29 teams have pondered whether the franchise should mortgage its future to bring in the young slugger. In three seasons, Stanton has hit 93 home runs. His batting average has improved each season, and he has a cannon for an arm in right field.
And again, he’s just 23 years old.
If the Marlins make him available, teams will line up to bid for his services. He’s not even arbitration eligible until 2014 and can’t become a free agent until 2017. A smart strategy would be for a team to trade for him now and sign him to a multi-year contract that takes him through his arbitration eligible years.
What team wouldn’t want a 23-year-old slugger who makes even the most cavernous ballparks look like little league fields?
Don’t be surprised if the Marlins do make him available, but the asking price would be through the roof. A package would have to include at the very least a team’s top hitting and pitching prospects as well as a bevy of other young talented players.
Many teams will balk at these asking price and move on, but there’s likely a team out there who would pull the trigger on such a deal. If he can stay healthy, Stanton has more than a decade worth of being a top power hitter.
In the AL, the Yankees and Red Sox both need outfield help. Maybe even the Angels would get in on the action. They wouldn’t trade Mike Trout but could offer Peter Bourjos in addition to top prospects.
In the NL, the Braves and Phillies are looking to fill an outfield spot and so are the Mets, but New York likely doesn’t have a package of prospects that would appeal to the Marlins.
Marlins’ fans can at least say that their team still has one of the best young power hitters in the game. But if he remains with the Marlins, don’t expect him to see good pitches, since the rest of the lineup will be incredibly weak.
A Stanton trade would put the exclamation point on the Marlins firesale. If so, Marlins Park will be a ghost town.