The Los Angeles Dodgers have quietly kept their hand in the sweepstakes for Giancarlo Stanton, who is believed to have them as by far his No. 1 choice on his unofficial list of trade preferences. However, it seems like a long shot to happen with them – at least at this time.
The Dodgers’ best hope may be to see Stanton turn down the Giants and Cardinals, and hope Stanton is willing to wait things out to play for his preferred team — and that wait could take awhile (perhaps even a year or more).
They like Stanton very much but would clearly be looking for a (good) deal if they were to seriously entertain such a move, and the Marlins will want to give the Giants and Cardinals every chance first. Considering all their issues, including their obvious tax issue, there’s no other way they do it.
As of Wednesday, the Dodgers had not had a formal meeting with Stanton and agent Joel Wolfe, and they probably don’t need to, as the Dodgers would have to work this out with Miami. While they technically are disallowed from having Stanton lower his contract to make it more palatable, even if he were open to the idea, it’s possible they could propose additional opt-outs for him, or perhaps the team, to lessen the likely commitment (though even that may be disallowed).
They’d also very likely try to drive a hard bargain with the Marlins. That would include from a prospect standpoint as well as from a financial standpoint. People close to the Dodgers believe they’d want the contract either paid down or offset by deals going the other way (i.e. Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Adrian Gonzalez).
Stanton is known to want to go to the Dodgers, and the question remains whether he’d accept a deal to the Giants or Cardinals, who are the two teams willing to meet the Marlins’ price. The Dodgers may not look like a likely landing spot for Stanton at the moment, but if he doesn’t accept either Cardinals (doubtful) or Giants (iffy), he could still become one — though it would likely take awhile.
This would be Stanton’s dream, and the Marlins’ nightmare since they’d never get from the Dodgers what they could get from the Cardinals or Giants. Stanton could try to wait it out since he has a full no-trade clause and is believed not to dread the idea of a return to South Florida, at least from a geographic standpoint (he loves South Florida), though he’s made clear here and elsewhere that he isn’t enthused about enduring yet another Marlins rebuild.
It could be an interesting call, because the chances for the Dodgers may not be great. With a $250 million payroll last year, they will be over the luxury tax threshold yet again, and the addition of Stanton means they have little chance to get under it in the foreseeable future. The Dodgers have other financial considerations, as well, such as Clayton Kershaw’s ability to opt out after next season, and contracts that will quickly escalate for young stars Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger.
- Giants or Cardinals? Making the case for Giancarlo Stanton