October 03, 2017

#Cardinals fans — is the Iron Giant available?

Giancarlo Stanton, the
Iron Giant of Miami,
may be available.
Derek Jeter, the public face and everyday executive of new Miami Marlins ownership, certainly seemed to indicate the possibility of trading Giancarlo Stanton is real. And, Stanton, for his turn, said he didn't want to be part of yet another rebuild.

So, fellow Birds fans, if you want the Cardinals brains trust to bite, who do you send?

I say clear out the OF logjam and send BOTH Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty. The Giant is in right, and Tommy Pham is your likely center fielder with Dexter Fowler in left. Pham showed he's at least as good as Fowler defensively.

Those two players might not be enough. Throw in Aledmys Diaz, assuming that Paul DeJong is your shortstop of the future. Besides, the Cuban angle with Diaz in Miami could play well.

I'll add Tyler Lyons or some other lower-level pitcher, too. (None of the top starters, though, as Waino needs a knife and Lance Lynn could be allowed to walk.) And Greg Garcia if the Marlins want yet more infield depth. Or Jedd Gyorko if absolutely necessary — with the Padres paying part of his contract, he's cheap enough on the Marlins side.

If necessary, I will toss in DeJong and keep Diaz.

The Marlins could use the infield depth. B-Ref generously lists Miguel Rojas as their best and primary shortstop. Dee Gordon is OK but no more than that at second. Ditto for third in Miami, where Derek Dietrich is OK with the bat but not a natural third baseman.

That's enough on the player side. (Contra Mo, here's why Pham, if not "untouchable," should at least be high-priced if he's going to be moved. Also contra Mo, and Matheny, they should, if not welcoming Pham as a team spokesman, at least not be dissing him over team callouts.)

If Jeter wants more, he has to agree to eat some contract. Or agree to take Fowler instead of Grichuk and eat contract back. (That's hypothetical, as Fowler would never wave his no-trade to go to Florida.)

Remember, the Giant can opt out after 2020. So, you've got an immediate power upgrade, a very good arm and middling range in right field on defense ... and Mo sees what happens in three years.

If he stays healthy AND opts out, pay him more upfront, while shortening the overall length by a year.

If he's a bit iffy and walks out, you let him go.

If he doesn't opt out, his contract isn't horrible. He'll be younger than Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera when it's done, and surely more mobile. Plus, while it IS backloaded after the first couple of years remaining, and the cheap years are already gone, the last two are actually a bit less onerous — and that last one has a team buyout.

And, from Cardinals fandom perspective? This trade electrifies the fan base. Mo shows that he's ready to "go for it."

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Update: On Slide 9 of this quick hits, Derrick Goold talks about the contract and other seeming complications with it besides the price, ie the opt-out (and Stanton's no-trade clause). He remains skeptical of the team doing a deal without getting Stanton to redo portions of the contract and/or the Marlins eat money. I wouldn't mind the redo idea if favorable to the Cardinals.

Later, Goold mentions the Cards' new TV contract is about to kick in, another factor in all things considered.

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