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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 101Sports.com 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 101Sports.com for plenty of Cardinals hot stove talk and analysis.

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