Major League Baseball’s waiver trade deadline will pass on August 31 and there is little doubt that Marlins’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton will finish his prolific season — chasing 60 home runs — in South Florida. He also has the Marlins back within reasonable striking distance of a Wild Card spot.
But that doesn’t mean he’ll play out the remainder of his monster contract there.
Miami is in $400 million debt and paying Stanton $325 million over the lifespan of his gigantic contract is not the best economic choice for a team with new ownership and looking to start from scratch in bulding a true contender.
Reports all over baseball suggest it is much more likely the team will try and move him during the offseason, with four teams emerging as favorites for the outfielder this fall: the Giants, Cardinals, Rangers and Phillies.
The Phillies, as CBS Sports’ Dayn Perry writes, are ahead of the pack boasting a solid young core, a hungry fan base and a ton of money to spend on free agency after cleaning house in recent years. They also have recently signed a huge contract themselves with Comcast Sportsnet to broadcast their games, and GM Matt Klentak has said repeatedly that the team will not be hesitant to spend money on the right players.
Breaking down the four teams, Perry says: “That’s especially the case with the Phillies, who are working to emerge from a deep rebuild and have negligible long-term salary obligations. The Giants, though, are certainly pining for a reboot after their disappointing 2017 season and would love to resume contending around that core of Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and company. The Cardinals have plenty of outfield depth, but they badly need a true middle-of-the-order hitter to keep up with the Cubs and Brewers, who both figure to contend for years to come.”
The Phils have been burned before by spending too much money on sluggers — like Ryan Howard — and will have other opportunities to get big bats as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and eventually Mike Trout hit the open market. Committing $30 million a year to anyone is a big committment, but is Stanton reaches the 60 home run milestone it might be a bargain toward starting another sellout streak at Citizens Bank Park.