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The temptation that is Giancarlo

Tweet [1]

[2]This was inevitable, wasn’t it? From the moment Jim Bowden tweeted over the weekend, it was inevitable that the name Giancarlo Stanton would have to be addressed. Here’s the tweet:

Dan Jennings Marlins AGM told us they will listen to all offers on Giancarlo Stanton but they’re not shopping him and don’t want to move him

OMG!!! Does Brian Cashman know about this? What will it take to get him? Do the Marlins still want Alex Rodriguez?

A few things to keep in mind here…

1. Willing to talk doesn’t mean legitimately willing to trade. The Marlins have said repeatedly that they have no plans of trading their best player. They owe it to themselves to listen just in case someone wants to offer an entire farm system plus Buster Posey, but there’s little reason to believe [3]the Marlins actually want to trade Stanton for anything remotely reasonable. He’s 23, not eligible for arbitration yet and led the league in slugging last year. He’s a monster. And he’s cheap. Even the rebuilding Marlins want a player like that. 

2. Even if Cashman were to openly admit to having conversations with the Marlins, what would that possibly prove? That the Yankees general manager is doing the responsible thing and checking on availability? It certainly wouldn’t prove anything more than that. Cashman checks with a lot of GMs about a lot of players. Doesn’t mean he actively pursues them because he doesn’t always have the tools for such a pursuit.

3. Are the Yankees interested? Without making a single phone call I can answer that. … Of course they are! It’s Giancarlo Stanton. In other news, I’m interested in playing rhythm guitar and singing terrible backing vocals for Paul McCartney. Just waiting for a call back.  

4. It goes without saying that Rodriguez isn’t a serious part of this conversation, but it’s worth mentioning that Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Phil Hughes aren’t a part of this conversation either. The Marlins are going to be terrible next year. They’re not interested in one-year rentals on their way to free agency. They might not be a well-run franchise, but they’re not going to make that sort of mistake.

5. There’s a kind of gap in the Yankees farm system. Jesus Montero was traded, Manny Banuelos got hurt and Dellin Betances took a step back. That leaves the upper levels of the Yankees system pretty thin, and it’s the upper-level prospects who have the most trade value. The Yankees do have legitimate minor league talent — and Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez have significant trade value — but it’s going to require a huge group of them to get significant big league talent, and a team willing to give an elite, big league ready prospect could probably trump any Yankees offer. The Mariners were reportedly discussing a deal for Stanton, [4]and it’s worth noting that they have the kind of minor league pitching that the Yankees can’t match.

6. An honest question: If a trade for Stanton would require gutting the farm system, would it be worth it, and could the Yankees afford it? They’d have their long-term answer in right field, but they would be back to square one in the minors and would still have age and contract problems at several positions.

Associated Press photo