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Stanton suitors with best prospect packages

November 17, 2017

The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo discuss the Arizona Fall League Championship, their picks for AFL MVP, which teams have the right prospect packages to trade for Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton and the prospects the Mariners dealt in two

The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo discuss the Arizona Fall League Championship, their picks for AFL MVP, which teams have the right prospect packages to trade for Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton and the prospects the Mariners dealt in two trades. To listen to the show in its entirety, go to the MLB Pipeline Podcast page.
Tim McMaster: The biggest story, maybe, aside from Shohei Ohtani, who we mentioned a little bit, this offseason as of now is whether or not Giancarlo Stanton is going to be traded by the Miami Marlins.
Obviously it's a big if because of that contract, his no-trade clause, the package that could be put together. It seems like four teams have stolen most of the rumors so far. I'm sure there'll be 'mystery teams' along the way. But as of now, you hear about the Cardinals, the Red Sox, the Giants, the Phillies. So I just wanted you guys to weigh in on, when you look at those teams, from a package standpoint, do one or two of them really stand out as really being able to put together what we think the Marlins are looking for? And I think it's safe to assume the Marlins are looking for young pitching, maybe over anything else.
Just looking at those teams -- Jim, the Giants system is obviously I think the weakest on paper, but anybody can get creative. Which of those teams do you think can really satisfy what the Marlins are looking for?
Jim Callis: I think you're right. I do both our Giants and our Red Sox prospect lists, and I have a hard time seeing what the Giants could package together that would blow the Marlins away. Although, to be honest, it depends on how many teams really make a serious offer, because the one thing we don't know is how much of the contract other teams are going to take on.
Say, just for argument's sake, the Giants are willing to take on the entire deal and not make the Marlins pick up any of it, then they don't have to give up as much as somebody who might want the Marlins to pick up a significant chunk. But if you're just looking at the systems, I don't really see how the Giants, especially if you're looking at pitching, are gonna put something together.
And I'd say that for the Red Sox too. I just don't see Stanton getting traded for Jay Groome and Tanner Houck at the front of a package, or Stanton getting traded to the Giants for Tyler Beede, who's had a rough year, and, say -- I'm trying to think who their next pitcher is -- Andrew Suarez. I mean, that's not gonna work. I think probably, if those are our four teams, it comes down to the Cardinals or the Phillies.
To me, the Cardinals would be the frontrunner. You've got Alex Reyes coming off Tommy John surgery, before which he was considered the best pitching prospect in the game. You have Luke Weaver, you have Jack Flaherty. The Phillies have some interesting young pitchers as well. But I don't think they can quite match the pitching depth the Cardinals have. Sixto Sanchez is certainly an intriguing guy. But you probably want a guy closer to the big leagues as the headliner.
So to me, if those are the four teams, I would favor the Cardinals. You also, if you're the Cardinals, have Carson Kelly, who's blocked by Yadi Molina. So maybe they'd be more willing to give him up. I think if those are our four teams, guys, it's the Cardinals in the front in terms of what they can put together.
Jonathan Mayo: Yeah, I agree with that. And I do the Cardinals and Phillies lists, and I think if you're gonna make a trade like this, unless the pitching prospects or whatever prospects who are farther away from the Majors are phenom, upper-level -- and Sixto Sanchez may get there -- the Cardinals just seem to make too much sense.

You've even got, you know, Sandy Alcantara, who's been more hittable than you would think but still has electric stuff -- this guy touched the big leagues. Junior Fernandez is the one who's further away, but he's interesting. Dakota Hudson made it up to Triple-A. You mentioned on the position-player side Carson Kelly, but they also have an excess of some outfielders. They got Tyler O'Neill last year from the Mariners, they've got Harrison Bader, they've also got Magneuris Sierra, who spent some time in the big leagues. So they probably have the best wealth of talent of those four teams to try to get Stanton.
McMaster: To me, when you look at those teams, and you talk about needs and that kind of thing, obviously the Phillies are at the point where they're still in a rebuild. Stanton would have to -- after losing a lot of games in Miami -- he would kind of have to agree to continue to lose at least for, you would think, another year or so before he can get back to winning. And he has to agree to any one of these trades. The Giants struggled so much last year. So the two teams that you think can contend right away are the Cardinals and Red Sox.
But if it comes down to it, the Red Sox -- look at their outfield. I just feel like there's less pushing them to make a deal like this, when they could also just go out and spend money and get J.D. Martinez. Whereas the Cardinals probably don't want to spend that kind of money on J.D. Martinez.
That's just my two bits as well. I agree with you guys. The Cardinals seem like the frontrunner. So some random team we're not even talking about will probably swoop in and trade for Giancarlo Stanton. So who knows. But it'll keep things interesting, I would think at least through the Winter Meetings. So that's always fun, when there's one big overriding storyline around Major League Baseball.