SAN FRANCISCO -- Plugging Giancarlo Stanton into the Giants' roster would deliver the ballclub considerable power. It also could give them an unpleasant shock in some ways.As one of two teams known to be a finalist to obtain Stanton from the Marlins, the Giants are focusing on the positive aspects
SAN FRANCISCO -- Plugging Giancarlo Stanton into the Giants' roster would deliver the ballclub considerable power. It also could give them an unpleasant shock in some ways.
As one of two teams known to be a finalist to obtain Stanton from the Marlins, the Giants are focusing on the positive aspects of the proposed trade that would bring him westward. The Cardinals also have reportedly sealed a trade proposal for Stanton.
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Here's a list of pros and cons -- from the Giants' perspective -- of acquiring the National League's reigning Most Valuable Player, who has the right to approve or decline any trade involving him:
Stanton is owed $295 million for the remaining 10 years of his contract.
Pro: His cost, so to speak, is etched in stone. Even if he sustains his MVP-caliber performance, the Giants wouldn't have to worry about inflation. Besides, when Stanton's deal expires in 2027, salaries will likely have risen so much that his might not seem outrageous.
Con: Saddled with Stanton's salary, the Giants would be destined to accumulate player payrolls that would annually exceed the competitive balance tax. That, in turn, would limit their spending power.
The Giants haven't acquired an offensive performer of Stanton's magnitude since they signed free agent Barry Bonds to a six-year, $43.75 million contract before the 1993 season.
Pro: Obviously, the Giants desperately need a run producer such as Stanton, who amassed 59 homers and 132 RBIs last season with Miami. He represents a savior for an offense that ranked last in the Major Leagues in homers and slugging percentage and next-to-last in scoring and on-base percentage.
Con: Would the Giants receive a healthy Stanton or an injury-prone version? A groin injury spoiled his 2016 season, when he batted .240 with 27 homers and 74 RBIs. The Giants need better luck than that.
Stanton can opt out of his contract after the 2020 season.
Pro: Most ballplayers know when they're not wanted. If Stanton were to join the Giants and their relationship simply didn't work, the opt-out clause would allow the sides to make a clean break. And the Giants would be free of Stanton's contract.
Con: Should Stanton maintain a pace that's anywhere close to this year's, the Giants would be sorely disappointed to lose him after two seasons.
Stanton is 28 years old.
Pro: If he's remotely as prolific as the Giants' great sluggers of the past, he'll galvanize their lineup for years to come. Bonds averaged .308 with 44 homers and 106 RBIs in the 11 years following his age-28 season. Willie Mays (.307/42/114 in seven seasons from age 29 through 35, 1960-66) and Willie McCovey (.295/38/112 in four seasons from age 29 through 32) were similarly effective.
Con: Stanton has yet to prove his durability. He has reached the 150-game plateau twice in his seven full seasons. Encouragingly for him, that included a 159-game campaign this season. By comparison, Bonds played 150 games or more in eight of 10 non-strike-shortened seasons between 1987, his first full big league year, and 1998. Mays played at least 151 games in each of his first 13 full seasons (1954-66).
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.