As a Red Sox fan I've been getting asked a lot lately about which players (if any) I would hypothetically trade for Giancarlo Stanton this winter. Rafael Devers? Lol. Andrew Benintendi? Yeah, no. Mookie Betts? LMFAO!! Alright, what about Xander Bogaerts or Jackie Bradley? This is where it gets tougher, but it starts to become less about what a team has to give up and more about what they're taking on...Stanton's contract.
I blogged about his contract back in May (still cracks me up that the largest pro sports contract ever handed out was done so by one of the most historically cheapest franchises). After this season the 27-year-old is still owed $295 million over the next 10 years. That's an insane amount of money to commit to one player. Never mind the assets you would have to give up to trade for him. Put it this way - think about how ugly the Albert Pujols contract is right now. That was only 10 years and $240 million. Sure, Stanton is a few years younger now than Pujols was when he signed, but the point remains the same. Stanton's deal is an absolute lock to turn ugly fast.
So why would anyone even consider this? 23 homers in 35 games will do that to people. Stanton leads baseball with 45 home runs right now. At one point during his 23-in-35 stretch he hit one in six straight contests (two short of the record). The odds are against him, but Stanton still has an outside chance at becoming just the sixth player ever to hit 60 in a season. That's something I always thought was possible out of him, but never really expected.
This recent, scorching hot run is what has led to the trade rumors. Before this run the Marlins looked like they were stuck with him (keep in mind this is when he was underperforming). Back in May my blog about him was titled "The Marlins Have A Giancarlo Stanton Problem" because of how unmovable the contract seemed. I don't think we should let six hot weeks cloud what was an otherwise good but not great past few seasons. Realistically this recent performance is going to be the best stretch of Stanton's career.
All that being said Stanton is exactly what the Red Sox need right now - a legit, middle of the order power threat. Boston is in year one of a three year "win now" window, so they should be making moves to be going for it. But at what cost? If the Marlins were smart they would offer to eat some of the money in trade talks, in order to get better prospects in return. If that's the case then trading for Stanton would be more manageable for a team like the Sox or Dodgers, but I'm still not sure I would want my favorite team to do it. What about you?