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ESPN’s Olney Says Cardinals’ Best Fit May Be Marlins’ Yelich or Ozuna

It’s still quite unclear what will happen with Giancarlo Stanton, but what’s abundantly clear is there will be no easy resolution to the situation. The Marlins’ prized trade piece holds all the cards here, and even if the Miami club found the picture-perfect trade partner, he could kibosh everything with a shake of the head.

Which is why ESPN’s Buster Olney is of the mind the Cardinals may see a better fit in Stanton’s fellow Marlin outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcel Ozuna. Another reason the analyst believes this is because the Marlins’ financials are in terrible shape.

“In the interim they really should start having conversations about some of their other players because every person you talk to who’s had a look at the Marlins’ books say it’s a disaster and it would behoove them to move not only Stanton, but Yelich and Ozuna,” Olney recently told The Kevin Wheeler Show.

“Those are the two players I think may be the best fit for the Cardinals.”

Olney used “in the interim” because he could see the Stanton saga playing out a long time given its complexity.

“Wouldn’t surprise me if it were closer to the start of spring training than during the course of the winter meetings.”

Olney touched on plenty more in the interview, which can be heard in its entirety below the following excerpts:

On what the Marlins can expect in a Stanton trade:

“Teams that have talked with the Marlins say they’re somewhat out of touch with reality in terms of what they’re asking for in prospects and also in what they expect teams to take on with that salary. $295 million over the next 10 years, plus he has a full no-trade clause, plus he could opt out of the contract in 2020, which is why some teams are looking at it saying, ‘Well, we don’t really know what we’d be buying in that case.

“The feeling is among some of the teams I’ve spoken with…Look, the Marlins, who are deep in debt, can try and dump the salary of Stanton, but they can’t expect that they’re going to get a lot in return if they expect a team to take him on. And if they want a lot of prospects, they’re not going to get that much money back.

“And here’s the other factor that I think is becoming fairly clear; is that there’s been little conversation between the Marlins and Stanton about what he wants and he completely controls the thing. That’s the big x-factor in this whole conversation.”

On a lack of communication between the Marlins and Stanton:

“You would’ve figured that sometime during the summer time when Derek (Jeter) knew he was going to be involved in the purchase of this team, he would’ve immediately started taking him to dinner and get to know, have a conversation; because one way or the other, the Marlins need Stanton.

“If they’re going to keep him, they need him to be the face of the franchise. But if they’re going to try to trade him, they need him to go along with it.

“Of all the teams involved in the Stanton thing, the Cardinals are, in fact, probably the best positioned teams in terms of money (and) prospects they could offer, but it’s not going to happen unless he agrees to it and there’s this perception in the industry that he won’t agree to go either St. Louis or Boston.

“I don’t know if that’s real. We don’t know if that’s actually been put in front of him, but I feel like the Marlins are way behind in the conversations they should have been having with Stanton.”

More: Miklasz – 13 Rumor-Free Thoughts on the Cardinals and Giancarlo Stanton