First Pitch: Killing Your Giancarlo Stanton Dreams

I’ve been asked a few times over the last couple of days what it would cost for Giancarlo Stanton. Recently there have been a few rumors that the Marlins would listen on Stanton. These sound very similar to the Justin Upton rumors that always come up. A young superstar is mentioned in trade rumors and soon enough every team’s message board has trade ideas for how their team can acquire the young star. Most of those offers are way off. As an example, I was given a “Jameson Taillon, Gregory Polanco, and Kyle McPherson” suggestion recently. That’s a top pitching prospect, a top hitting prospect, and a good pitching prospect. Unfortunately that wouldn’t come close.

I don’t normally do trade value posts for players who aren’t linked to the Pirates in a rumor. In this case I figured I would look at the trade value for Stanton, just to paint a picture of the insane cost of a trade.

To start things off, remember Andrew McCutchen before his extension? It was a little over a year ago that I did a trade value article on McCutchen, writing why a deal would be impossible. That was back in the time before his extension, when people were convinced that McCutchen would be traded in a year or two, all because the Pirates hadn’t extended him by November of the off-season prior to the off-season when he would be arbitration eligible for the first time. It seems kind of silly now. It kind of did back then too.

McCutchen and Stanton aren’t similar players, but their values were similar. McCutchen in 2011 had four years of control remaining, with three years of arbitration. He was coming off a year with a 5.8 WAR. Stanton has four years of control remaining, three arbitration years, and is coming off a year with a 5.6 WAR. Going to the trade values chart, the inputs are almost identical.

Using a 5.6 WAR for the next four years for Stanton, plus the same salary figures I used last year for McCutchen ($500 K, $5.7 M, $8.6 M, $11.4 M), the trade value for Stanton comes out to $86.6 M. McCutchen was $88.6 M last year.

So what would $86.6 M look like in the Pirates’ system? For that we turn to our prospect trade values.

We’ll start with Gerrit Cole. He will likely end up a top ten pitching prospect, with a value of $26.7 M. If you think you’re getting Stanton without giving up Cole, you’re dreaming.

Then there’s Jameson Taillon, who is probably an 11-25 pitcher. That’s a value of $18.89 M.

Next we’ll throw in Alen Hanson, who is a 26-50 hitter. That’s $18.12 M.

We could assume that Gregory Polanco is a 26-50 hitter, but I think he’ll end up closer to the 51-75 range. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here and give him that $18.12 M.

That’s arguably the top two pitching prospects in the system and the top two hitting prospects. The total? $82.99 M. The Pirates would still need about $4 M. Or, in other words, a Grade B hitting prospect or two Grade C pitching prospects.

But there’s a problem. We’re only using Stanton’s 2012 WAR. He’s only 23. He should improve. What if he pulls a McCutchen and has a 7 win season in two of those years? Now his value is $100.6 M. Now you’re talking about adding Luis Heredia, and still needing a Grade B hitting prospect. And that’s based on a value that seems totally possible for Stanton.

A Stanton trade would wipe out the farm system. He could command two of the top hitting prospects in the game. If a team ever did trade for him, they might be able to save a prospect or two from that list. But they’re still going to have to give up a lot in return. By “a lot”, I don’t mean “maybe they’ll want Jose Tabata”. I mean “take Polanco out and replace him with two or three prospects in the 8-15 range of the system”. Also consider that if the Marlins did trade Stanton, they’d be looking for minor league pieces. Trading a young star away for immediate help at the major league level doesn’t add up, and it’s why the Justin Upton rumors never made sense.

The similarities for the values of Stanton and McCutchen work well. If you’re thinking of a trade possibility for Stanton, just ask yourself if you would have taken that same return for McCutchen a year ago. Considering the price, I don’t think any team would/could trade for Stanton. The cost would pretty much wipe out another team’s farm system. That’s definitely not something the Pirates could afford, even if they’ve got the prospects to actually afford the deal.

Links and Notes

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**Winter Leagues Recap: Latimore Makes His Debut.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • https://profiles.google.com/107500598404660809214 Kerry Writtenhouse

    As nice as it would be to see Stanton patrolling right field with cutch and marte with him, I wouldn’t be inclined to trade Cole and Taillion for anything.

    But I will say. Stanton is exactly the type of righthanded power bat this organizaton needs. His power shows up everywhere.

  • http://battlingbucs.wordpress.com battlingbucs

    Pretty much my thought. My opinion has always been that it would take Cole, Polanco and Hanson for the Marlins to even begin listening.

  • leadoff

    When you talk trade and you are going to give up a Cole, Taillon or Polanco, you have to look at the upside of these players when you are considering trading them, any one of them has a very good shot at being as valuable as Stanton in the future, you do have to trade with projected numbers in mind when you have upside talent like the Pirates have.
    The Pirates have a hard time trading for hitting talent because of PNC park, it is very difficult to tell if a power hitter will be a power hitter in Pitt, unlike Cincy or Philly, you know if the guy is a power hitter he will be one in their parks, so Stanton might not be as much of a power hitter in Pitt as he is in Miami.

    • http://daleberrasstash.blogspot.com/ Kevin Creagh

      Stanton is a power hitter in any park. Perhaps only Yellowstone could contain him.

      Unlike Justin Upton, Mike Stanton does not have a home/road split. In fact, his road numbers are better in his career. He has a 934 OPS on the road and an 870 OPS at home. His wRC+ is 148 on the road and 131 at home.

      • leadoff

        I realize he has enough power to hit out of any park, so do a lot of power hitters, the park only needs to hold 5 or 6 a season that go out of other parks to lower his numbers.

        • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

          Stanton does not apply to the “so do a lot of power hitters”. He’s a true 80 power guy, the top of all of MLB.

    • Happydude1

      2012 Park factors have PNC as the 4th lest home run friendly park and Marlins Park as the 5th. Obviously only one year of data for Marlins Park, but it seems pretty comparable to PNC.

    • http://www.facebook.com/backwardnikomahs Kirk Weaver

      Have you ever seen Stanton’s HR? They would clear the scoreboard at Forbes Field

  • https://profiles.google.com/113210386333972308613 Brian

    First off, I’m a lifelong fan of the Bucs who’s adopted the Marlins as a second team, having lived in S. Fla. for close to 30 years. I watch all the Bucs games and most of the Marlins until they dumped everyone yet again.

    Stanton has RIDICULOUS power that would translate to any park, anywhere. The man hits line drive singles that that slam the outfield wall before anyone can get to them! His home runs are Stargellesque. To suggest that his power might be compromised in another park is ludicrous.

    Too bad it can’t happen for the Bucs. McCutchen, Stanton, Alvarez, Walker sounds really nice!

    • leadoff

      None of those 37 home runs Stanton hit last year cleared the fence by a couple feet? All of them were 500ft shots?
      No one questions his power, but 37 home runs is not monumental, I realize he only played 123 games and I saw enough of him to know if he got the right pitch the ball was leaving any park.
      There are players that could hit home runs in any park, Kiner could, Mays and Aaron could.
      Finally, I never said Stanton could not hit home runs in PNC park, what I said was that the Pirates have a hard time trading for hitting talent because of PNC park, guys like Ludwick come to mind.

      • Happydude1

        As and you shall receive:

        http://hittrackeronline.com/detail2.php?id=2011_755&type=hitter

        By my count there are 2 for sure and maybe 2 others that he hit that wouldn’t have cleared PNC’s walls. Of course this ignores potential home runs he could have lost by playing at Marlins Park.

        • Happydude1

          Additionally, only 1 of the 34 he hit in 2011 would not have left PNC, and 2 of the 22 he hit in 2010.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremiah.ewing.9 Jeremiah Ewing

    I tried to find a package that didn’t hurt the system as much, but it’s just tough! Maybe a Taillion, Heredia, Bell, Polanco, Snider (still 24), and maybe whatever we can get back in another move… Jones maybe. Also guys like Robinson have a bit of value too…

    It won’t happen, but it’s fun to talk about!

  • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

    Stanton may be worth 4 top 100 prospects, but no team will pay nearly that much. Considering they dealt most of the roster for Marisnick and lower guys I highly doubt they would even ask for that much. Two A’s and two B’s is too high of a price for every team in the current baseball economy.

    They arn’t going to trade him anyway, that assumes they are making baseball decisions in Miami and not just monetary ones. Stanton is 470k this year, he’ll sell tickets and make them some money. next winter he will be dealt when he is about to make $10 million.

    • leadoff

      I agree, but whether anyone can sell tickets in Miami is up in the air, he didn’t sell them last year.

      • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

        20,000 a game is a lot more than 5,000 a game they would draw if they trade him now.

        • swartnp7

          What if the pirates just buy him for $20-30 million in cash (and Jose Tabata) to the Marlins?
          They are greedy Fish, maybe they take that bait.

        • leadoff

          Your right, but remember the players that were on that team when they sold the season tickets and the players they traded away and the attendance after the trades.

    • jg941

      My only comment here is that Stanton’s presence next year on a sub-60-win team, while he’s sadly conducting his farewell tour, won’t really sell any more tickets in Miami (unless I’ve misread their fans’ anger level and pathy at this point).

      But if they don’t ‘sell’ that last $470K year to someone else right now, they will potentially be giving up millions, maybe tens-of-millions, in his trade value by keeping him for 1 more year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

    im not saying that we would do this trade, but in the long run this is why scott boras and mark appel killed us, if we sign him that gives us flexibility to trade jameson for a good hitter. so hopefully we can make use of these picks this year to give us a even bigger wealth than we would have had.

    • leadoff

      We tried to trade Jameson for a good hitter last year, it did not work, teams want a 1 or 2 pitcher for a good hitter. The Pirates wanted Alonzo from the Reds, the Reds wanted a pitcher to help them now and they ended up getting Latos and giving up a lot more than Alonzo to get him. Jameson simply won’t bring a good hitter by himself right now.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

        but that was different reds wanted a pitcher who could pitch now

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

    I would like to see what you guys think, I recently read an article that mention we could be a darkhorse for Bourne. The reasons is because he would be a leadoff hitter and a dynamic bat to put in our lineup. So it mention we could sign him for one year 15mil. Therefore we would lose our 14th overall pick. However say we let him go after the one year deal, we give him a qualifying offer and he declines it then gets picked up by another team. We then pick up another first round pick the following year that is supposedly a better draft that this years. Would you guys do this and what do you think?

  • swartnp7

    Could, or would, a team be able to do that?

    • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.a.capernicus Nick A. Capernicus

      if your asking me, yes

  • jg941

    Hey, Tim – great background and analysis as usual. (strap yourself in – I tried to keep this brief, but sadly, didn’t :-) – hopefully you have time to read it.

    However, I think that you’re focusing a bit too much on mathematically solving this “Giancarlo Stanton = X” equation, when the other party may have that and other Fish to fry (no pun intended).

    I think your math is dead-on, but this deal, if there ever IS a deal, won’t get done on the pure valuation math, just like their Blue Jays deal wasn’t done on the math. A truly unique deal like this will get done on some combination of math, near-term value, long-term value, quality, quantity, PR and BS.

    This is a very unique animal for a lot of objective and subjective reasons, and that unique nature is precisely why the Pirates – of all people, and as surprising as that seems – may actually be in a position – a position that, for once, other big-money or star-laden teames AREN’T in – to pull this off.

    And, this is important – Stanton is already gone, as far as the Marlins are concerned. They’ve kinda painted themselves into a negotiating corner – it’s now obvious that they will only get max/premium value for him by trading him immediately, while another team can take full advantage of ALL of his below-market-value years (as you point out).

    That’s the reason they’re whispering in everyone’s ears. At his point he almost HAS to be traded; otherwise they will give up an enormous amount of trade value to move him in 2014 just so they can win 62 games instead of 55 next year. There’s ‘cheap’……………..and then there’s ‘stupid’.

    FYI – I’ve been as cynical about the FO over the past 20 years as anybody, but – without sounding like a big FO fan or blowing sunshine up the GM’s…..uniform, I think that the pieces as they have been recently reconstructed can allow the Bucs to send the right mix of assets to swing a broader deal that could result in Stanton coming to Pittsburgh.

    I’m not too pie-in-the-sky on this (I don’t think), i.e. over-valuing our prospects like all of us naturally do, nor do I think that we have to “harm the farm” (sorry, couldn’t help myself)

    (Tim, I do respectfully disagree that the Bucs would have to “wipe out the farm system” to land this deal, and definitely do not agree that the Marlins would require both Taillon and Cole to get something done)

    Needless to say, I’m not presuming to have thought about this at your level (hah!) but in looking at our prospects over the next several years, I tried to “pair” them at each key area to determine where there were two of the same/very similar asset coming down the pipeline to determine if one of that pair could be safely considered to be part of a deal like “Stanton for X”, while the Bucs retain its counterpart.

    This presumes that you would look at the players within those pairs as relatively equal – you personally may not, as you know them better than most. It also presumes that you would just be trying to solve “Stanton = X”, which I absolutely don’t think Huntington (or any other GM who might want Stanton) should try to do.

    I think it would be more conducive to doing a deal with the Marlins to broaden the deal and try put on the Marlins’ hat and address issues beyond just moving Stanton. That’s the kind of deal that helps to spread the risk, and (kinda like the Hanny deal on a smaller scale) gives both GMs some ability to avoid the pressure of the head-to-head comparison going forward, i.e. Stanton sucked, and Profar or Taijuan Walker or Taillion turned out great (or vice versa).

    Given that, the two other Marlins issues I would consider are Ricky Nolasco’s $11.5 million salary next year, and on a smaller scale, whether someone like Logan Morrison might be another “change of scenery” candidate.

    In the hopes that you’re still reading and can read further, maybe I’ll break it up here with the pieces/assets that I thought might be “worth” proposing, pieces, pieces where the Bucs ought have a similar/equal asset to retain while letting one go.

    So, bear with me, Bucs would get:

    - Giancarlo Stanton
    - Ricky Nolasco (Bucs pick up $11.5 mil salary for 2013)
    - Logan Morrison

    I think Nolasco would actually be a final valuable add to the rotation for 1 year – maybe in a stand-alone context he’s not worth $11.5 mil, although the Bill James projection on him for next year includes a 3.71 FiP, 3.94 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 3.47 K/BB (with about 150 Ks), so maybe in this market he is worth that. As the Bucs’ GM, I wouldn’t pay him that on a stand-alone deal but I obviously and gladly would in this context.

    And, remember, if Stanton does go, then Nolasco has to be gone immediately….like, that afternoon. They can’t be left holding that $11.5 mil bag when his best buddy Stanton walks out the door (from what I’ve read, the only reason he hasn’t been purged yet is because of Stanton)

    Again, LoMo might just need a change, although I think their owner loves him and he’s cheap (FWIW, his James #s also look ripe for a big upside move in ’13 – projected at .807 OPS, 23 HRs, 79 RBI, .347 OB, .347 wOBA). Don’t know what that might equate to in, say, WAR, but it’s probably pretty good, and, depending on what stock you put in these projections, looks better than the same for Garrett Jones in 2013. That’s not a surprise to the folks who visit this site – many think they just saw Jones’ best, and it might be a last shot to ‘sell high’ on him. Which leads to the reluctant side of this.

    I would propose the following (or similar package) as what might be necessary to fully engage the Marlins in a REAL discussion and what can execute a deal. This would be an end-point of negotiations, not a starting point, although the GM should obviously be open-minded to minor prospects and/or cash on both sides to fill holes in a deal. The negotiations would be interesting, for sure, but I firmly and honestly believe that this would/could get it done without undue “harm”.

    Marlins get:

    - Jameson Taillon (who becomes their new #1 prospect, and likely #1 starter by YE 2013)
    - ONE of Middle IFs Alen Hanson or Dilson Herrera
    - ONE of OFs Gregory Polanco, Barrett Barnes or Josh Bell
    - ONE of SPs Justin Wilson, Kyle McPherson or Jeff Locke
    - ONE of RP/closers Bryan Morris or Victor Black
    - Garrett Jones (starter at 1B)
    - Travis Snider (starter in RF)
    - Jose Tabata (possible starter in LF, but at least a cheap upgrade in OF)

    (Tim, I’m not just “dumping” Tabata here – he is a real and cheap upgrade to their OF for the next year or two and, once they reconstruct, he may actually make sense for them long-term, too)

    Within those choices, the Bucs hold onto a similar/equal asset in each case, sacrificing some depth in each spot but retaining another viable version of what was traded.

    Would hate to see Snider go so soon (Jones too) but obviously he would need to go in this particular deal (because of redundancy w/Stanton & day-one, cheap starter value to Marlins (I like Snider – good pick-up).

    Jones gives them a perceived upgrade at 1B (although B. James might disagree going forward) still relatively cheap in arbitration ($4.4).

    The Marlins get an added bonus of a net $5 million in further salary reduction from this package; consequently the Bucs would add a net $5 mil – not bad.

    The Marlins get six (!) 25-man-roster-ready, MLB-ready pieces in 2013 to help save a little (just a little) face with the fans, all potentially ‘starters’ (Jones, Snider, Tabata, a mid-rotation starter (Locke et al), a closer/RP, and Taillon).

    For the pieces we (reluctantly) give up, and assuming they take the Bucs up on the “worst-case” scenario for each piece offered, we still retain interesting assets, i.e.:

    - Top-of-rotation/Ace – #2 Taillon goes, retain #1 Cole
    - Top-tier Middle IF – #3 Hanson goes, retain Herrera (but, here, Marlins might actually prefer Herrera, given that Hechavarria is just getting established at SS)
    - Top tier OF – #5 Polanco goes, retain #6 Bell & #9 Barnes
    - Mid-rotation SP – near-prospect/Top 10 Locke goes, retain #8 McPherson & #7 Wilson (and many others obviously)
    - RP/closer – #12 Morris goes, retain #16 Black (and others)
    - LoMo replaces Jones at 1B (possible upgrade for Bucs)
    - Stanton replaces Snider
    - Sands/Presley replace Tabata

    (NOTE: I was using Jon Mayo/MLB.com’s rankings for reference, but I’m sure you could apply other like Sickels, etc. the same way)

    Seems like a lot…….but maybe not. Satisfies a lot of Marlins needs with a great mix of Top prospects (in this scenario, Bucs’ #2,3,5,7&12 prospects) and very affordable MLB ready starters, all cheap and with years of control.

    Pirates get another quality SP for a year until Cole and other pieces move in and out in 2013, a potential lower-cost upgrade at lefty 1B, and a literally franchise-altering player like Stanton.

    Again – I’m probably as cynical as most on the FO of this team over the last 20 years, but I do think that the system, as its recently been re-constructed, may allow the Bucs to be one of a small handful of teams (maybe 2 or 3) who could be in the unique position to be able to pull off a franchise-altering deal like this. For the FO, it would certainly come across as an ultimate justification, affirmation and testimonial to the value of the pieces that the FO has put in place across the organization recently, and how those pieces can be used creatively to create incredible value and transform a team into a champion.

    It’s just an alternative path. I wouldn’t typically deviate from our normal path – find mid-range patch pieces along the way and wait for all prospects to mature and hopefully transform into valuable major leaguers – in exchange for a Carlos Gonzalez or a Justin Upton, who have also been rumored. But I absolutely would consider the alternative path for Stanton.

    (speaking of Upton, just one more disagreement, Tim, I promise. While I agree with you that the Stanton-for-Upton rumors made no sense, I think you’re confusing the Marlins having NO desire to take on any expensive, MLB-ready talent now, with a desire/need to take on CHEAP, MLB-ready talent now (in addition to prospects). I absolutely think they benefit from a little of both (cheap, quality players now, with more top prospects lined up behind them). Remember, if you think they would do this deal in exchange for packages that might include a Profar or Bundy, etc. those players are ready now as well – like Taillon. The Marlins would definitely prefer MLB-ready vs AAA talent for the next year or two while they are rebuilding, if they can basically get it on the cheap)

    P.S. (and finally – thank god, huh?) – besides the thought of an OF controlled for at least the next 4 years of Marte, McCutchen and Stanton (wait……I want to say that again :-) it would be interesting to talk directly to Stanton about a deal/team/city/opportunity like this – maybe have Cutch, Marte & AJ call him up and talk to him about it.

    But also to picture himself playing right field in Pittsburgh, in front of that big #21 on the Clemente Wall, with the Clemente Bridge in the background. Those intangibles – playing in an OF alongside Cutch & Marte for 3-4 years, the fan base/The ‘AJ experience’, the Clemente connection, etc. – shouldn’t be underestimated with a kid who’s looking for a good playing environment and whose idol/favorite player of all time is Roberto Clemente.

    I’m not over-romanticizing that angle, trust me; I’m just saying that if the parties otherwise figure out that the important pieces fit relatively well, something like that can just make it feel like the planets may truly be aligned.

    If you made it this far, thanks for humoring me, you’re a better man than I :-) – I’m sure you’re bombarded with these ‘brilliant’ ideas all the time.

    It’s just that this is has been quietly gathering some steam, and I didn’t see any other team in baseball – not the Mariners, the Rangers, anyone – that’s BETTER positioned to actually pull something like this off at a time like this.

    Have at it.

    • swartnp7

      Thanks. That was fun to read. That’d be pretty sweet.

    • http://daleberrasstash.blogspot.com/ Kevin Creagh

      I think the Mariners have more soon-to-be-ready pieces than the Pirates. Guys like Hanson/Polanco/Heredia are 3-4 years away, while Nick Franklin, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, Mike Zunino are 1-2 years max.

      The Mariners are starving for offensive talent and are desperately to get in the AL West race. I could see Jack Z making a franchise-altering deal for Stanton WAY before NH would make that move.

      NH is a cautious, close-to-the-vest person who realizes the ONLY way to make this work in Pittsburgh is with young cost controlled talent.

      The Mariners are bankolled by Nintendo in a much bigger market. It would not surprise me in the least to see Stanton go to SEA for a jaw-dropping package.

      • jg941

        I hear you, but Tim’s kinda making the opposite argument – that the Marlins would ONLY want players who are a few years away. I think they’d want a little of both.

        I get Tim’s thinking – there would be that element of “wasting” the first few contract years of an immediately-ready Top Prospect on what is going to be a REALLY crappy MLB team for the next 2-3 years (gets kinda demoralizing, if nothing else). FYI – Keep in mind that the ETA on most of Bucs’ Top prospects is ST 2015, so they’re not too far away.

        But I agree w/you that the M’s have the best farm system right now, and deeper pockets, but the pockets don’t matter as much as they normally would for this particular deal (unless u were just gonna also send over a giant bag of money and Wiis to win the deal :-).

        By most estimates, Stanton will cost someone, high/low, between $34-$46 million over the next 4 yrs (something like $470K next year, arb of $8-$10 1st yr, $10-$15 2nd yr, $15-20 3rd yr – sound about right?).

        So averaging $8.5 to $11.5 mil per year over that time. Does that sound un-doable by the Pirates for a player like Stanton for the next 4 years? Seems pretty manageable

        • http://daleberrasstash.blogspot.com/ Kevin Creagh

          I don’t think Tim was saying a certain time frame. He was just saying the Marlins want young, cheap, minor league high-impact guys. They don’t want Alex Presley.

          Thru their own drafting and some recent trades, the Marlins have a nice farm of their own. Most of their guys are 1-2 years away from MLB. If you could pair their existing farm with a package of Hultzen/Franklin/Walker/Zunino (as a PTBNL), you would have a very respectable lineup.

          Zunino, Morrison, Yelich, Franklin, Marisnick is a really nice core group.

          Then having Jose Fernandez, Hultzen, Walker, Jacob Turner, and Eovaldi as the rotation would be enviable for many.

          If Stanton doesn’t go by Spring Training, he’ll go during this year. You’re correct — they’ve painted themselves into a corner.

    • https://profiles.google.com/113210386333972308613 Brian

      Wow!
      You really put some thought into this! Without going into all the math I don’t know if it works but it seems on paper to actually work for both sides. Having the unique perspective of the Marlins being my second team, this trade wouldn’t piss me off for either side.

      Another thing I’ll add: Local sports talk shows with strong knowledge of the Marlins are saying that Loria will sell the team in 2015, when he would no longer have to share any profits with the city of Miami. If that is true then this deal would put forth a pretty decent, cheap young team for potential buyers.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      I read your entire comment. Thanks for typing it all out.

      I would have to disagree that this trade would be realistic. It reminds me of a fantasy baseball trade, where you want all of the good players from one team, and you are only willing to give up the pieces you won’t miss from your team.

      For simplicity, let’s say the deal is Taillon, Hanson, Polanco, Locke, Morris, Jones, Snider, and Tabata.

      One of the central arguments here is that the Marlins are blowing up their team, and are looking for young, cheap talent. I’m not sure why they’d deal for Snider, Jones, or Tabata in that example. Jones will probably make $10 M over the next two years before becoming free agent eligible. Snider has four years of control remaining, which is the same as Morrison and Stanton. If they’re trading Morrison and Stanton because they can’t win now with them, why would Snider have any appeal.

      Tabata might have some appeal when you think about the contract, but he hasn’t shown that the contract will be a steal with his performance. Right now he looks like a somewhat expensive fourth outfielder.

      Locke and Morris would be the throw-in type pieces that I was talking about in the article above. They’d be the types that would be the final pieces of the deal.

      From here, the problem you run into is competition. Say you’re willing to give up Taillon, Hanson, and Polanco. What if some other team (Texas, Seattle) is willing to give up three top prospects who are closer to the majors and less of a risk? Their bid beats yours. And if no one beats your bid, the Marlins still have to decide whether that’s enough.

      Overall I just don’t think this adds up. The Marlins traded Reyes, Buehrle, Johnson, and company because of their high salaries. Stanton and Morrison aren’t in the same boat. They’re each a year from arbitration eligibility, but they’re not making $10 M+, which is the key difference.

      Trading Reyes, Buehrle, and Johnson just says you’re not going to win in the next year or two, and you don’t want to spend all that money while losing. Trading Stanton or Morrison for below-value says you don’t intend on winning in the next four years, even with affordable, highly talented players. While there are other factors other than just looking at the value of a trade, I don’t think the factors from the Toronto trade can be applied to this situation.

      The big thing here is that the Marlins aren’t in a situation where they don’t want to spend any money. They traded away a few eight figure guys. That’s not the same as trading away Stanton because he’s a year away from arbitration. And paying Stanton isn’t a conflicting idea after trading away Reyes and company. So I don’t think there’s a need to trade him right now.

      • jg941

        Tim, I agree with you somewhat – I have NO idea why they wouldn’t keep Stanton as the one centerpiece of a re-building plan (well, I actually do). But THEY are the ones talking about it, and it’s likely going to happen, and probably before ST.

        There’s two factors here – a potentially disgruntled superstar – one of the best 3 or 4 players in the game? What do you think? – who now gets stuck in a complete tear-down and multi-year rebuilding program. How fun for him :-). Picture Mike Trout on the Astros for the next 2-3 years – there’s no point for either party having that guy play on that team every day during that time.

        Equation: 7.0 WAR + Astros or Marlins = still last place

        If the REST of the team you’ve assembled over the next few years looks like what the Marlins will look like, his superstardom adds nothing – I think you know that his highest and best value to a team in that situation is to sell that asset at it’s peak value, which, on the timeline of the Marlins near future, is right now – today.

        It’s what he can bring back that will be of real value (talent vs cost) to the Marlins when they ultimately re-enter the real world in a few years.

        And I think you’re really mis-characterizing the package I suggested as a “fantasy” trade, where you ‘want all of the good players from one team, and are only willing to give up the pieces you won’t miss…”

        Two really big problems with that – there’s only one “good player from one team” really involved here – the spectacularly good Stanton. You obviously can’t characterize the Nolasco piece as a prize to the Bucs – the Pirates wouldn’t otherwise “want” him at all, they would be paying way more than they otherwise would for a 5th starter. I’m pretty sure that Nolasco has a somewhat negative trade value at this point, with 1 year left at $11.5 mil – the Marlins know that and would not view that as “losing” Nolasco, but more like being able to “purge” Nolasco. That piece is a “loss leader” for the Pirates (or any other team) to get at Stanton.

        And LoMo is just a coin-flip – if you actually think that he and Jones in this deal is somehow viewed as a negative by either side, then just take them both out, one-for-one. They are only in there as a swap for the other, and they are similar, will probably have similar production – just thought it accomplished a couple more minor goals on both sides – a ‘sell high’ on GI, and a change-of-scenery play for LoMo/Marlins. If the cost difference was the only hang-up there, it would probably still be worth it for the Bucs to throw a mil or two at them and take back the $500K/yr LoMo). Otherwise, just hit ‘delete’ on the GI-for-LoMo piece – I do think both parties would be a little happier, but, frankly, it’s inconsequential.

        And, jeez, “pieces you won’t miss”? I’m suggesting sending our #2,3,5,7 & 12 prospects and our starting first baseman, starting right fielder and 4th OF, all relatively cheap and all with years of control. Maybe absence doesn’t make YOUR heart grow fonder, but I guarantee most of those pieces would be “missed” in the overall Pirates scheme of things.

        I think you may have characterized it that way because of the way I paired up the “similar assets”. But just because (when you look at it that way) it seems like the Bucs can afford to part with a significant piece while retaining an equally-valuable key piece, doesn’t mean that you’re giving away meaningless assets, or ones you won’t “miss”.

        I would have hoped that would be one of the pay-offs of supposedly building a deeper farm system – no different than the Mariners being OK with trading either Walker or Hultzen….it’s because they have BOTH Walker and Hultzen.

        The Bucs just need to sit down and strategically lay out where they think their MLB and prospect pieces will land over the next 3-4 years (they should probably just ask you), and they’ll probably come to similar conclusions – that, for a franchise-altering move like this, they have specific spots where they can likely afford to part company with one of their two-or-more top assets at a certain position, because they happen to have another to fall back on. (conversely, they have other specific spots, i.e. 3B, where they couldn’t afford to do that)

        And that’s an internal argument btw, i.e. whether you think the Bucs are ‘feeling enough pain’ with what they’re willing to trade for Stanton – the Marlins could care less whether the Pirates are giving ’til it hurts – they just want what they want out of this, and the Pirates can worry about whether they’re protecting what they need, or cutting too deep.

        On comparing Snider to Stanton, i.e. comparing apples-to-Volkswagens – the reason they would “value” Snider in their particular chosen situation for the next few years (i.e. tear-down/re-build) and not Stanton, is precisely because Snider’s max “value” to them – over the next few years – is as a cheap MLB RF. Stanton’s value to them – over the next few years – is exponentially different. HIS highest value to them is, again, selling him immediately for the max possible return. Given the choices they’ve decided to make with their team, he has no other higher value to them anymore than that.

        Also – Locke and Morris – for two players that most (including you, I think) would put, respectively, in our starting rotation and bullpen in 2013 (with Morris’ additional potential as a future 8th inning/closer guy), you dumbed them down to “throw-ins” pretty quick there. They are MLB starters, minimum-wage, 6-year controlled guys who will instantly assume those same, or better, roles with the Marlins. I might say that a Stolmy Pimentel or Ivan DeJesus might be a “throw-in” – you might want to recalibrate your definition of throw-in :-)

        OK – I am definitely enjoying this discussion too much (I’m guessing you may not be……sorry for the back-and-forth), but I don’t want to leave it without two final things – a complete agreement and a complete disagreement.

        One, I completely agree that if we got into a bidding war with the Mariners farm system, that they could wear us out at some point (but that’s ‘IF’ – they would also have to take Nolasco and include MLB-ready guys too, IMO, and that’s not an excuse for the Pirates to not try to get to the table).

        But I completely disagree with all of your last paragraph – it’s a little disingenuous to describe their situation to your readers that way, for the purposes of trying to support your original position on this idea.

        It’s not that they “aren’t in a situation where they don’t want to spend any money”……. Tim, they absolutely ARE in that situation, by choice, by proclamation, by flying an airplane banner over the city of Miami that says, roughly, “We do not want to spend ANY money for a few years, Miami, in case you didn’t notice the 13 guys whose jerseys you bought this year leaving town for good” (well, it’s a reeeaallly long banner………..)

        And they didn’t just “trade away a few eight figure guys”. They traded away over HALF of their team last year, to dump every single salary over $1.5 million (except for Stanton’s buddy Nolasco). In one of those dumps (as you know), they got back a very good starting shortstop for only $5 million a year (Yunel Escobar)…….and immediately dumped him to cut costs, too.

        Everyone (I hope in the Bucs’ FO) needs to fully understand what the Marlins are doing, and just make sure that the Pirates aren’t missing a unique opportunity to take advantage of the very, very realistic, reasonable and do-able opportunity that sits in front of them on Giancarlo Stanton.

        Lay it out, 2013-2016, contracts, prospects, salaries, all of it, and at least see what it tells you, at each position and at each level. One of the Pirates problems has been, to some extent, living up (or down) to everyone else’s dumbed-down expectations of them, that they just aren’t a management team that would even pick up the phone on something like this, even though the facts in front of them say they should/could. It is definitely a ballsy, all-in move….scratch that. It IS ballsy, but it is NOT “all-in”, and they (or anyone else) shouldn’t scare the FO into thinking it’s all-or-nothing.

        The deal CAN be real, and they really shouldn’t ignore the opportunity, and watch someone like the Mariners or Rangers take it from them for less.

        Tim……..agree to seriously disagree on this one…….I still love ya, man :-)

      • NastyNate82

        The money Stanton makes makes me think that this deal doesn’t get done this season or during it, but only when his salary goes up. As you pointed out, the price is just way too high for anyone to pay at this point. However, as Reyes, Buehrle, etc. were dealt because of the $$ they made and NOT because the return was so great, I think the same will happen with Stanton. In short, I think teams will wait for the price to go down, when Stanton’s salary goes up.

  • leadoff

    maybe have Cutch, Marte & AJ call him up and talk to him about it.
    ___________________________________________________

    That would be nice, but the guy that does the recruiting is Hurdle.
    I am sure the Marlins want the world right now, timing is everything in trades and I think the Pirates throwing their hat in the ring at this time would be a good thing, but the longer it goes on the better the deal is going to be for the Pirates, and I do agree that the Pirates have resources to trade, but what do the Marlins really want for Stanton, especially if they are shopping him around, you would think the Pirates know what the Marlins want?

  • leadoff

    mlbprospectwatch.com has a Very interesting write up about who Stanton would fit with in a trade and who they would not fit with in a trade, guess what team would be a great fit for the Marlins? Look under prospect anaysis.

    • duckwoes

      I was going to post that article. I really believe the Pirates could, and should push for a deal such as this if indeed the Marlins were listening. The sad truth in the article was this line, “Everything points to the Pirates being a viable and even likely landing spot for Stanton, until we remember that they’re the Pirates.” A trade like this could perhaps go a long way to changing this perception. KC took much flak for the trade with TB, but I think it was the right move for them. The Pirates would be wise to at least attempt to acquire Stanton. Cole/Taillon, Polanco/Hansen, Mcpherson/Locke and perhaps Glasnow or Kingham might do it

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

    You mean they wouldn’t take Bobby Hill for him? lol, just kidding although I am sure we would.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.busch.98 Mark Busch

    I’m keeping the dream alive. And keeping Cole.

    Taillon
    Hanson
    Polanco
    Locke
    Snider

    and we take Ricky Nolasco as our 5th starter, eating his salary. That certainly gets us close. We then have our core in place through 2016 and perhaps beyond. That’s a lot of time to restock the farm system.