As we head towards the Major League Baseball Winter meetings there is a clear questions in the minds of every fan, writer and team. Where is Stanton going to go? With all of the power of this decision ultimately on the shoulders of Stanton himself, all the organizations trying to get him have to be ready to face the truth. Why would anyone really want to leave Miami? What if he decides he wants to be a Miami lifer? Where do these teams go next? Lets break it down for you.
St. Louis Cardinals
Problem: The Cardinals by all reports are the frontrunner in the Stanton sweepstakes. They have the money and the resources to make it happen. Problem is, Stanton is a coast guy. Born in California, has been living in Miami his whole career. With the Cardinals clear need for power and presence in the middle of their order they have to have a plan in place.
Solution: Eric Hosmer, while Hosmer doesn’t provide the 40 homer potential of Stanton but he does provide the presence in the middle of the order. The Silver Slugger winner will allow players like Paul Dejong and Jedd Gyorko to move into lineup spots that better fit their attributes. With St. Louis’s depth in the outfield as well as young arms they can also make a move to beef up the rotation and bullpen or make the smart move and go sign Juan Nicasio and Jason Vargas. They can also pray for a resurrection of Stephon Piscotty. St. Louis fans want Stanton, he would be the first real impact bat acquired by the front office since they resigned Matt Holiday back in 2010. If they really think they need more thump. The Cards could also take a flyer on a couple of vets for low cost (Jose Bautista or Carlos Gonzalez )
San Francisco Giants
Problem: Bottom five farm system. The Marlins seem set to move on from the money owed to Stanton. But can how can an organization already struggling with fan attendance possibly let their biggest asset leave and getting nothing of value for him.
Solution: Trade Christian Arroyo to Blue Jays, Sign JD Martinez. The Giants were last in the league in homers in 2017. Bringing back Pablo Sandoval is not the answer. JD Martinez is the only answer that makes sense for the Giants. They can put him in Left Field and problem area that they seem to never be able to fill. That punch in the middle will create great protection for Buster Posey. Next they should look to see the value of their one trade chip top prospect Christian Arroyo. Call up the Blue Jays and offer Arroyo and two other prospects for slugger Josh Donaldson. With the Blue Jays need for depth pretty much everywhere they may bite. A lineup featuring Posey, Donaldson and JD Martinez makes you an immediate contender.
Boston Red Sox
Problem: Doesn’t really fill their need for a first baseman. Do they really need another contract that size on the books? If the Red Sox make the move work for Stanton they would be taking on a lot of money. I can understand their hesitation as their last few big contracts haven’t worked out that well thus far (Sandoval, Price).
Solution: If the Red Sox can’t make the Stanton deal work then they should go fill the need that is most pressing for them. Making his second appearance on the board is Eric Hosmer. Hosmer in Boston makes all the sense in the world. The move would allow a sometimes lets say spacey defender such as Hanley Ramirez to stay at DH and gives them a bat to put right in the middle of the order. If Boston still sees a need in the outfield for a power bat they have the resources to make that work. Top prospect Bobby Dalbec is currently blocked by even better prospect Rafael Devers. Call up a team always hungry to dump players like Oakland and check on the availability of Khris Davis. Dalbec and Jackie Bradley Jr. for Khris Davis would make a lot of sense for both teams. Davis would provide some serious power in the lineup behind Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi. I Theses plans fail a logical choice would also be an underrated star in Carlos Santana, the price tag would be much more favorable.
No matter what happens the decision made by Stanton and the Marlins will impact the entire baseball world. Per usual the MLB offseason is going to be fun unless you are a Marlins fan.