Why Giancarlo Stanton is a Perfect Fit for the Red Sox
Ever since the Great Fire Sale of 2012, the Miami Marlins have been receiving inquiries and offers for their lone remaining superstar, Giancarlo Stanton. There has been a good deal of speculation that the Red Sox have been interested in Stanton for some time, and who could blame them? Stanton possesses what many believe is the best raw power in baseball, and would be a potent addition to any lineup. Where it gets interesting, however, is that there are rumors that the Red Sox are contemplating putting together what they deem to be a competitive offer to the Marlins, last week’s disagreement aside. The Red Sox are in an envious position in that they have enough organizational depth and prospect quality to make a deal for Stanton a possibility, even if the Marlins insist that a deal is not forthcoming.
Earlier this month a report in the Boston Globe suggested that an acceptable offer for Stanton could include Matt Barnes, Christian Vasquez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, and one of either Will Middlebrooks or Garin Cecchini. That package contains a substantial amount of both talent and potential, and it would take a serious amount of courage for any general manager to turn down. I would have some doubts about it from the Red Sox’ perspective, as it would be very hard for them to give up a centerfielder – Bradley Jr. – for a corner outfielder, especially when there is no obvious replacement on the current team. The team would be much better served trying to include a player such as Bryce Brentz, who profiles similarly to Stanton as a power-hitting right-handed outfielder, and is much more easily replaced. The rest of this hypothetical offer though, could be swallowed by the Red Sox with little damage to their organizational depth.
The Red Sox farm system is widely regarded as one of the best in the game, and every player lost in this trade could be replaced by an identically valuable prospect in the Red Sox system. After Matt Barnes, the starting pitching depth is still intact with Henry Owens, Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster, and Ruby De La Rosa; Vasquez can be replaced by Blake Swihart, who is considered the superior prospect due to his more prolific bat; Brentz (or other replacement position prospect) would be more of a depth loss and would not do much organizational damage; Betts does not have a role in the Red Sox organization because he currently shares a position with Dustin Pedroia, who just happens to be in the first of an eight-year contract extension. The Red Sox organizational depth would really bear fruit under this scenario, as it would allow the Red Sox to add a premium major-league talent without destroying their entire farm system in the process.
These trade scenarios being thrown out all operate under the assumption that the acquiring team is allowed to sign Stanton to a multi-year contract extension as a condition of the trade. No team would want to give up such a monumental prospect haul for a couple years of production, even superior power production. Also, Stanton will play all of this season at age 24, meaning that the a team could have the opportunity to lock up most, if not all, of his prime years, adding greater value to an already sizable deal. The Red Sox are one of a handful of teams that have the financial flexibility to make such an extension a reality, as well as the organizational depth to survive the loss of top-tier talent. In other words, there is not much standing in the way of Giancarlo Stanton coming to Boston, other than a willingness to do business.