With Stanton out, who's next on Giants' radar?

December 8th, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are out of the sweepstakes, according to a statement released by the team Friday.

"Our agreement with the Marlins to acquire Giancarlo Stanton subject to his waiving of the no-trade clause will not move forward, and it is our understanding that the Marlins and Stanton are exploring other options," the statement read.

Stanton is reportedly headed to the Yankees, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, who said early on Saturday morning that the parameters of a deal were "done."

Like the Cardinals, the Giants had a deal in place with the Marlins that was contingent on Stanton's final approval. According to Mish, that deal involved the Giants' top four prospects: , Chris Shaw, Tyler Beede and Heliot Ramos.

Stanton wants to join a serious contender. The Giants finished last in the NL West with a 64-98 record in 2017.

Common sense dictated that if Stanton, whose availability prompted trade proposals from the Giants and Cardinals, wanted to join either of those teams, he would have approved a swap by now. The full no-trade clause in his contract -- which the Marlins are trying to shed, since it guarantees him $295 million over the next 10 seasons -- gives him veto power over any deal.

Losing out in the Stanton market sharpened the focus on San Francisco's other efforts to upgrade the roster.

As Giants general manager Bobby Evans said in a radio interview Wednesday, "Our staff is very involved in a lot of discussions, and we have to make sure at the end of the day that we address our priorities for the offseason. That's our outfield and adding power to the lineup and our bullpen."

In other words, the Giants, who ranked last or next-to-last in numerous offensive categories this past season, already began considering options besides Stanton, who led the Major Leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs.

Having discussed Stanton extensively with the Marlins, the Giants could make a smooth transition by launching trade talks regarding their left fielder, . The Marlins are bent on trimming their player payroll, and Ozuna will be due for a nice raise after amassing 37 homers and 124 RBIs to go with a .312/.548/.924 slash line.

It has long been anticipated that the Giants will heavily pursue free agents, which has been their preferred method of player acquisition.

They'll face plenty of competition for outfielder J.D. Martinez, whose 45 homers and .303/.376/.690 slash line would make him a nice consolation prize if the Giants can't secure Stanton. However, Martinez's penchant for opposite-field power hitting, as demonstrated by Statcast™, might make him wary of playing home games at AT&T Park, given its 25-foot-high right-field wall.

The Giants could address two needs with one move by signing a slugging third baseman. Mike Moustakas, who homered 38 times in 2017, and , who totaled 27 homers, are obvious candidates. There's also , whose 30 homers were partially offset by his 175 strikeouts -- a figure that clashes with the Giants' contact-conscious approach.

The Giants also reportedly have discussed trade possibilities with the Pirates regarding outfielder , who's eligible for free agency after next season. McCutchen, who will receive a $14.75 million salary next year, compiled 28 homers and 88 RBIs to accompany a .279/.363/.486 slash line.