D.J. Short

Offseason Lowdown

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Lowdown: Sizing Up Stanton

Friday, November 10, 2017


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Free agency officially opened for business earlier this week, but one of the biggest storylines to watch in this year’s Hot Stove is the future of Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. With the new ownership in Miami looking to drastically cut payroll, a trade is basically a foregone conclusion at this point, especially coming off a year where Stanton managed to avoid injury while slugging 59 homers. He could very well win the National League MVP award later this month. However, finding the perfect match isn’t so easy.

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Consider the different factors of Stanton’s situation. The contract complicates things to an extent, as he’s owed $295 million over the next 10 years as part of his record-breaking extension. The Marlins will likely have to pick up some of the tab in order to make a trade more palatable for interested teams. Stanton has a full no-trade clause, so he can control his own destiny. He also has an opt-out clause in his contract after the 2020 season.

The Giants have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for a while given the team’s need for a slugger and Stanton’s California roots, but Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports wrote Thursday that the Cardinals “are believed to be the team that the Marlins would most like to make a deal with” because of their young pitching depth. Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty, Alex Reyes, and Sandy Alcantara are all possible targets for Miami. The question is whether Stanton would accept a deal to a Midwest team when it’s believed that he’d prefer to play on one of the coasts. The Giants can’t compete with the Cardinals when it comes to prospects, but the money looms as an important factor here.

While we’re on the topic of money, we can’t rule out deep-pocketed teams like the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees from checking in, even if they aren’t being mentioned prominently right now. Assuming the Marlins aren’t against trading in the division, the rebuilding Phillies have plenty in the way of young players and few payroll commitments. It should be a fun rumor mill in the coming days.

In the newest edition of the Rotoworld Baseball Podcast, myself and Drew Silva went over Stanton’s situation and other Hot Stove storylines to watch. Check it out here and make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Twins Seeking Arms

Fresh off a historic turnaround which led to the AL Wild Card game, the Twins are going into the offseason with a purpose. Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the club is considering making a run at one of the big free agent starting pitchers on the market.

The Twins typically don’t spend big on free agents — Ervin Santana’s $54 million deal is the richest free agent deal in team history — but they’ll have to up the ante in order to land the likes of Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, or Lance Lynn. Many have Darvish and Arrieta pegged for contracts exceeding $100 million. This means that Cobb and Lynn are the more realistic possibilities, but there will be plenty of competition for them as well. There’s a clear drop in quality among free agent starters after this quartet.

As I wrote in the Twins’ Team Roundup piece last month, the roster is already in good shape as far as impact position players, but upgrades on the pitcher side are essential. Starters not named Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios combined for a 5.57 ERA this past season. The club is also expected to make an effort to improve the back-end of their bullpen. With that in mind, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Thursday that the Twins have expressed early interest in a reunion with former closer Brandon Kintzler.

Quick Hits: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Aaron Boone is among the candidates for the vacant manager position with the Yankees … Free agent reliever Brandon Morrow told MLB Network Radio on Thursday that he’d prefer to return to the Dodgers … The Nationals announced Dave Martinez’s staff on Thursday, including Chip Hale as bench coach, Derek Lilliquist as pitching coach, and Tim Bogar as their new first base coach … Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson interviewed for the team’s managerial vacancy on Thursday … Logan Morrison told MLB Network Radio on Thursday that it “would be a dream come true” to play for the Royals … Jae-gyun Hwang’s agent, Han Lee, told NBC Sports Bay Area that his client plans to return to Korea following a disappointing season in the Giants organization …



D.J. Short is a Rotoworld senior baseball writer and hosts the Rotoworld Baseball Podcast. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.
Email :D.J. Short



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