Stanton Rumors: Insider Talks Cardinals’ Chances and Who They’d Have Part With in a Trade

Legendary screenwriter William Goldman once said, “Nobody knows nothing” in describing the movie business, and the same line could be aptly applied to Giancarlo Stanton’s future.

But this is baseball’s hot stove season and there’s nothing else to talk about outside of teams’ needs and potential offseason targets. We know the Cardinals are very interested in Stanton, we just have no clue whether he wants to come here, whether the Marlins are interested in Cardinals prospects or whether the Cards are willing to part with any top pipeline guys.

It’s all speculation, but that doesn’t make it any less fun when your hometown team is involved in talks for a player of Stanton’s caliber. There’s a segment of readers who foresee the Cardinals coming in second or third place for his services, and another who seem sure the slugger will choose a coastal team, but remember: “Nobody knows nothing.”

That is, likely no one except those involved in the direct talks right now and those journalists who make it their business to know as much as possible. One such is SB Nation MLB insider Chris Cotillo, who shared his thoughts Monday with The Bernie Miklasz Show.

“I think that (the Cardinals are) going to be very much in the mix,” Cotillo said “They’ve been one of the clubs I think, since the summer, that really identified themselves as a team that is a potential fit. The Giants (and) the Phillies have been involved too and over the weekend the Red Sox seemed to have jumped in a little bit.”

And keeping with the theme of things not being crystal clear right now, Cotillo reminded us this process is still in its infancy.

That’s important to remember here, because we’re only a couple weeks removed from the World Series. We’re still in that transition period for Marlins ownership. It’s now Derek Jeter at the helm,” Cotillo said.

“There’s a lot of teams who are going to be interested. It’s a very complicated deal to consummate. I think there’s a lot of teams, as we get through the GM meetings this week and then the winter meetings in a month, a lot of teams are going to make pushes and the Marlins will have to make a tough decision.”

But if the Birds are right in the mix, who might the Fish ask for in a Stanton trade?

“I think you’re talking about the very high-end of guys that you’d expect, whether that be (Luke) Weaver, (Jack) Flaherty or some of these top guys that are in the system. That’s what it’s going to take,” Cotillo said. “It’s obviously not your normal trade when you’re talking about basic prospect value for a guy.

“There’s just a ton of factors here. Obviously his no-trade clause plays a big role. (We’re) not sure yet if he’d be willing to go to St. Louis. I can’t see why not after all those years of losing in Miami, but guys have preferences. Guys have different things that they appreciate so that could always play a role.

So many variables…Cotillo went on to mention we’re dealing with baseball’s biggest contract ever, a point that sometimes gets lost in all the fodder. We know the Cardinals can afford it if a deal comes along they can get behind, but what if some of our readers are right and the club winds up a bridesmaid again? Will they move on to J.D. Martinez?

Cotillo mentioned Marlins outfielders Marcel Ozuna and Christian Yelich as other trade possibilities, but pointed out Stanton and Martinez will be the first two dominoes likely to fall for those teams in the market for big bats.

“J.D. Martinez I think is going to get a lot of money and he’s going to be kind of the guy that the teams who are in on Stanton are also going to be looking at,” Cotillo said. “There’s going to be a lot of guys out there…I don’t think (Josh) Donaldson and (Manny) Machado are going to be available this early in the offseason just because those teams are saying they want to contend, but if they get blown away with an offer.

“Obviously, the Cardinals have that stable of young pitching they could look to move. That might change things. And, obviously, they have a surplus of outfielders too. So I think there are a lot of options out on the table, but right now Stanton and Martinez are the top guys. Once those dominoes fall, maybe Donaldson, Machado…those types of guys hit the market.”

Stay tuned to 101ESPN and for plenty of Cardinals hot stove talk and analysis.

More: Miklasz – Yadier Molina Won Eight Gold Gloves and Deserves to Have More

  • M W

    It’s difficult to handicap because we don’t know if Stanton has listed the Cards as a team he would want to go to.

    If he does list the Cards as a team he will accept a trade to, the variables are plentiful.

    Will Florida eat a decent chunk of the contract? If not, does that minimize the quality or number of prospects that the Cards would have to send back? Would Stanton agree to waive his opt out?

    • James Berry

      It would make zero sense for him to waive his opt out, unless the team trading for him offered up something big. Like more money.

      • George Belt

        Agree James. Stanton has no incentive to go anywhere he doesn’t wish to play or want to live. He holds the hammer. Other than playing before packed houses, it is difficult to come up with any reasons for that place to be St Louis.

  • tominco

    How about Stanton save a lot of hassle and indicate which teams he’d waive the no trade for? Then if the Cards not on the list, they can just move on to Donaldson or some free agent.

  • James Berry

    Stanton would be foolish, at this point, to state which teams he’d waive his no-trade for. That no-trade clause gives him the power in this situation and doing so would give some of that power away. Even telling the Miami FO who he’d waive it for would be dumb. Because 1) leaks happen 2) it would be easier for reporters and GMs to find out. Say he gives the Marlins his preference and that team finds out. The return for Miami then very well could dwindle. Sure, Miami could be spiteful and keep him, then turn around and trade off Ozuna, Yelich, Gordon, Prado, Realmuto and anyone else that it well thought of. Spiteful actions usually end up biting back, but it wouldn’t be the first time it was used against someone.

    • geoff

      With all of the “great players” the Marlins have, how did they not win every game. They had a better lineup than the Cardinals, and the Cards pitching was not all that great and the bullpen was about the same and the managers are about the same so how did the Marlins finish eight games under .500? Reading all of these comments, you would think the Marlins’ outfield was the best ever assembled and their lineup in general was murderers’ row. Why do so many people think that adding any member of the Marlins outfield would be the magic answer to the woes of a Cardinal lineup that was not good.

      • James Berry

        They didn’t win because of their pitching staff. When and where have i ever said that adding any of the 3 would get us to the playoffs or further?

        • geoff

          Well the Cards pitching was pretty woeful too. Actually my comment was pretty much in agreement with what you said above. I keep reading all of these comments from people who think adding Stanton or anyone from the Marlins will be what makes the Cards great. The Cards need more than Stanton to make them better. I could go on ad nauseam about where the Cards fell short, but we all pretty much know if we saw them play. If I were Mo I wouldn’t waste one more minute with the Marlins until they can say whether or not Stanton would OK the trade. As to the other players often mentioned, the Cards need to ship out some players from the major league roster anyway so I hope they let it fly. I don’t quite understand why Mo won’t trade any of his coveted outfield prospects when he has basically blocked two spots with long contracts to Fowler and Piscotty. It looks from here like Sierra has no shot at all of ever playing for the Cardinals in St Louis so why not trade him to a team that understands speed is more fun to watch than strikeouts and walks in pursuit of home runs, which is the Cardinal hitting philosophy.

          • James Berry

            Pretty certain Mo & Girsch have said numerous times that just a single big bat won’t get us there. Personally, i’m for multiple trades. I’d like Yelich, Abreu, Colome and Archer to be gotten. As for FA signings, i could get behind a Nicasio reunion as well. I want dead weight, regressing players and redundancy taken out of our baseball soup. Meaning Diaz, Carpenter, Piscotty, Grichuk, several prospect OFers and a couple of prospect pitchers removed from the organization via the trade acquisitions and other smaller ones to be done.

            What bugs me most about our coaching staff is that Mabry seems to be untouchable. We have fired or not re-signed or let walk better hitting coaches in the last 15 years, but Mabry remains.

  • James Coats

    If the Cardinals are willing to spend Stanton money why not get two really good players for the same amount of money on the free agent market (JD Martinez and ?) and give up zero talent in return instead? The risk of two players being busts or injured are much lower than for one player. Same approach on closers, two above average guys with high ceiling (Nicasto and ?) instead of one of the premium guys. Flip one of the excess outfielders for prospects. Talent up, profits up.

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  • Brian Hudson Sr

    I just don’t see Cards REALLY going after Stanton. I still feel (IMO) the birds need a two-year plan to catch up with Dodgers, Cubs, etc. We have got to get contact hitters and strong defense back. It should be fun watching what does happen.

  • geoff

    This is all crazy talk to me. Stanton is a pretty good ballplayer with a history of injury. I sure hope Mo doesn’t get suckered into running the price up for the Marlins. The Cards need a lot more than a high strikeout (163)swing for the fences guy to make them formidable. I keep getting the sense that baseball is going to change enough over the next few years, with the home run derby philosophy, the uppercut swings and a baseball as hard as a cue ball, to make it boring. Hitters have adapted their swings to accommodate a strike zone that seemingly starts at the belt and goes down to about mid-shin. Just think of how bad hitters will be if they decide to call the strike zone from the nipples to the knees, the way it is used to be called.

    • George Belt

      The strike zone has changed dramatically and that has brought more offense and more sold tickets to the game. There won’t be any move to return to the strike zone of our day. What we are likely to see is more change in the approach to pitching use through specialization…likely even less innings for starters and increased usage of the bullpen. I would think they will be increasing roster size to 27 in the near future to accommodate that BP need.

  • Tom L

    Time traveler reports this headline from December:
    Cardinals Finish Second in Stanton Derby

    “We were right in the mix until the last minute” says Mozeliak.

  • john tassallo

    better drafting and the cardinals would not be in this spot they could have drafted judge. I would rather see them just get a great bullpen.and Martinez.then go from there