Giancarlo Stanton won't be going to the Giants or the Cardinals if a report from SiriusXM's Craig Mish is correct. That's because of Stanton's no-trade clause, which he is reportedly going to enforce unless he can be dealt to the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, or Astros.
There are difficulties in a deal being made with any of those four teams. The Yankees and Dodgers are trying to get under the luxury tax in 2018 to reset their penalties: Consecutive years over the threshold results in stiffer penalties, and for a team like the Dodgers, which routinely blew past the soft cap, there are even harsher taxes and the threat of receiving later picks in next season's draft.
As New York needs to fill out its rotation and still has expensive veterans like Jacoby Ellsbury around, acquiring Stanton isn't as simple as just paying for him, especially since the Marlins seem to expect any team they deal with to eat almost all (or all) of the $295 million still owed their star outfielder.
This upcoming season represents an important moment for the Yankees and Dodgers in their quest to reset their luxury tax penalties, given free agents like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will be available a year from now and will likely command contracts that make getting under the competitive-balance tax threshold impossible.
Of course, the Dodgers or Yankees could say forget the luxury tax reset, and give me Stanton, but it feels unlikely that they will. The Cubs are a possibility, but they were over the tax in 2017 and have holes to fill before 2018, none of them in the outfield. Well, not until they rescue Jason Heyward from the hole he dug himself out there, anyway.
That leaves the Astros, who just won a World Series without Stanton and have a bit of a habit of being cheap when they can get away with it and like to pretend Houston isn't one of the largest markets in the country. They could change that for Stanton, but again, they won a World Series without him, so it feels unlikely.
Someone has to acquire Stanton, though, yeah? No, no one does, but let's at least acknowledge that this report might move one of these four teams into the running for his services, knowing he'd accept a deal there if they can just figure out what it looks like. After all, he's Giancarlo Stanton, and he could be the final piece for any of these teams.
- Eric Hosmer is fine. He's fine! He's also probably going to get more money than whatever team that signs him will be comfortable with. Let's try to figure out which team that will be.
- Pinstripe Alley believes the Yankees are missing a golden opportunity by not going after Giancarlo Stanton. Now's their chance to change that!
- The Giants need a backup plan now that Stanton seems to be rejecting them, and Grant Brisbee can't believe it's J.D. Martinez.
- The Marlins did make a deal on Thursday, sending Dee Gordon to the Mariners. That cuts about $10 million from their projected 2018 payroll, so they only have, like, $60 million more or so to cut!
- South Side Sox is wondering if the White Sox front office is good now.
- The Twins reportedly offered Kevin Maitan more money than the Angels, but he chose Los Angeles of Anaheim over Minnesota.
- What does the signing of Tyler Chatwood mean for the Cubs' pursuit of Shohei Ohtani and Alex Cobb?
- Given teams can't give Ohtani the money he would land as a true free agent, his choice is coming down to a place more than you usually see.
- Former Cardinals pitcher Anthony Reyes is fighting the wildfires out in Los Angeles.