Could Red Sox sway Marlins to move Stanton?
MIAMI — It’s a day away from the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and all appears quiet in Marlins camp.
Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline is expected to come and go with little to no activity.
Still, you never know.
Contending teams have been calling regularly on a number of core Miami players. They’re repeatedly told closer Steve Cishek is not available. Most likely that will be the stock answer to any core player wearing the multi-colored Marlins’ uniforms.
As the deadline appears, worth watching is if a contender can offer a substantial package of players that would lure in slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
The 23-year-old, viewed as a building block in Miami, is not expected to go anywhere. Not just for the remainder of 2013, but in 2014 and perhaps beyond, either.
Right now, the Marlins have pretty much closed the door on any Stanton offers. The challenge for a contender is seeing if they can convince the Miami brass to even listen?
It’s no secret that the Rangers and Pirates have repeatedly checked in on Stanton. All their calls have been met with a resounding, “No.”
Is there a team out there who won’t take “no” for an answer and somehow get Miami to say, yes?
If there is a sleeper squad, it could be the Red Sox.
A league source said Boston may be willing to part with whatever it takes in hopes of swaying the Marlins to relocate Stanton to Fenway Park.
The Red Sox indeed have a strong system, and it would likely take four or five players alone to secure Stanton’s services.
But is there a fit between the clubs?
The Red Sox top prospect is shortstop Xander Bogaerts, ranked by MLB.com as the sixth overall prospect in the game.
But the Marlins have Adeiny Hechavarria, a shortstop many in the organization feel is the best defender at his position in the National League. What if Bogaerts is able to switch to second base? If so, an Hechavarria-Bogaerts middle infield could be attractive to Miami.
Boston’s No. 2 ranked prospect is Jackie Bradley, a left-handed hitting outfielder, who also likely would have to be included in any potential deal.
From Miami’s point of view, is there a need for Bradley? If Stanton is dealt, the organization could then go with Christian Yelich in left, Jake Marisnick in center and Marcell Ozuna in right. So where would Bradley fit? Or is he an upgrade over any of the players Miami already has in the outfield. If not, it wouldn’t make sense for the Marlins.
Ozuna, however, will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing left thumb surgery. Certainly, outfield depth would be needed.
Another position the Marlins would likely want is pitching. The club pretty much seeks a pitcher in return of any trade they make.
Pitchers Allen Webster and Henry Owens are Boston’s third and fourth ranked prospects, respectively. Lefty Trey Ball was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Would those five or four of those five get a deal done? Or it could be a combination of three or four top prospects, and a player or two already on Boston’s big league roster?
For Stanton, pretty much any team would have to be willing to clean out their farm system. Even then, the Marlins may so no.
The main reason why the Marlins aren’t expected to make any major moves now is they like where they are headed. Team chemistry is the highest it’s been in years. On the field, the club has played drastically better the past two months, and with a wealth of talented pitchers, they may be a year or two away from being a contender. That’s staying with what they have, and making minor adjustments.
Stanton, remember, is just 23, and there is no urgency to move him.
While eligible for free agency in 2014, he won’t be a free agent until after the 2016 season. Miami coud be serious contenders by 2015, which falls within Stanton’s arbitration-years window. So even if the slugger doesn’t accept a substantial multi-year offer from Miami, he could stick around a while.
It’s clear as long as Stanton stays in Miami, rumors that he will eventually be moved will follow.
— Joe Frisaro