Giancarlo Stanton has been the most popular name in Major League Baseball this offseason. He has been rumored in plenty of trade discussions and quite a few teams have been mentioned as potential landing spots for him. Now, it appears that we have an idea of which teams are “finalists” to acquire him.
The Miami Marlins have made it clear that they are looking to shed payroll. Stanton would certainly be the quickest and easiest player to trade to accomplish that goal.
Dee Gordon has already been traded by the Marlins, ending up with the Seattle Mariners. He was widely expected to be available in trade talks this offseason as well. Miami is certainly not playing around and is seriously looking to make moves this offseason.
Looking at the current list of teams that are remaining in the Stanton sweepstakes, there are four very intriguing potential destinations. According to a report from 670 The Score, the Chicago Cubs happen to be one of the four teams that Stanton would approve a trade to.
Needless to say, they are far from being the “front-runner” at this point in time. It seems like the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are the top two teams on his wishlist. That being said, simply being listed as a team he would accept a trade to is a big step in the right direction for the Cubs should they choose to pursue him.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) December 8, 2017
All of that being said, could Stanton be a fit for Joe Maddon and the Cubs?
Theo Epstein has been known to be aggressive when trying to build a championship contender. He has gone out and signed Jon Lester, traded for Jose Quintana, and traded for Aroldis Chapman. Going after a guy like Stanton would not be a shocking thing to see from the Cubs.
Last season with the Marlins, Stanton put together a massive season that won him the National League Cy Young award. He recorded a.281 batting average to go along with 59 home runs and 132 RBI’s. Adding that kind of offensive production to an already dangerous lineup would be a nightmare for opposing pitching.
Maddon would love to have a threat like Stanton in the lineup. He would also fit nicely in the outfield for the Cubs, although acquiring him would like mean trading Kyle Scwharber to the Marlins.
At 28 years of age, Stanton would make a fantastic “big three” along with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo for years to come.
Chicago has been rumored to be prioritizing pitching this offseason, already having signed Tyler Chatwood. Epstein would like to add another good starter, with Alex Cobb and Shohei Ohtani both being options. Ohtani is rumored to be considering the Cubs, although he isn’t expected to end up in Chicago.
Acquiring Stanton would not come cheap for the Cubs. Schwarber would likely be the centerpiece with the Cubs having to include some of their top prospects in the deal as well. Whether Epstein would be interested in giving up as much as it would take to acquire Stanton is unknown at this point.
All of that being said, counting the Cubs out of the Stanton talks would be a big mistake. Epstein will likely be much more interested in Stanton now that his interest in the Cubs is known.
Expect to hear plenty more rumors about Stanton in the coming week or two. Miami would like to get a deal done and talks will likely heat up now that his favored teams are known.
Don’t be surprised if the Cubs touch base with the Marlins and check to see what it would take to acquire Stanton. If the Cubs do end up deciding to make a serious trade offer, they could end up landing the superstar slugger.