COMMENTARY | As the Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton inches closer to returning from the hamstring injury that has sidelined him since April 30, the talk surrounding his ultimate landing spot this season or next will likely start up again.
After the Marlins unloaded all of their recently-acquired talent via a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays back in November, Stanton expressed his displeasure. It's easy to understand why. The Marlins, along with their 16-42 record, are little more than a Triple-A team. It's hardly a place for an up-and-coming superstar.
Since the trade (and team owner Jeffrey Loria's ominous quote that makes Stanton's time as a Marlin seem limited), the baseball world has endlessly speculated where Stanton may end up should he be traded. For fans of the Chicago Cubs, it is unlikely that Stanton ends up on the North Side.
The Cubs are Rebuilding and Won't Trade What It Would TakeGiancarlo Stanton is unquestionably a rebuilding team's dream. He is young, has shown unbelievable potential (and results), and has four years before free agency. In that regard, Stanton is a perfect fit for the Cubs. Where it starts to become a problem is when you consider that the Cubs wouldn't be plucking him off of the free-agent market; they would have to trade for him. And they would have to trade a lot -- most likely some combination involving Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Albert Almora and others.
For a team riddled with holes up and down the system, the Cubs can't afford to handicap their system-wide rebuilding process to fill one hole at the major-league level. Theo Epstein has repeatedly said the Cubs' plan is to build from within and that means with strong, deep minor league teams. As phenomenal as Stanton is, he just isn't a fit in Chicago at this juncture.
Everyone is Going to Want HimIf the Marlins do decide to trade Stanton (which seems likely with his first year of arbitration getting ready to kick in), there will be no shortage of suitors. Even if we could look beyond the conflicts signing Stanton would bring to the Cubs' rebuilding process, the Cubs just don't have the prospect firepower to outbid everyone else.
With so many teams sure to be in the mix --St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, etc. -- the chances of the Cubs surprising everyone and snagging Stanton dwindle anyway. Logic tells me that any deal the Cubs could make that would bring them Stanton would be a poor move in the long run.
The Marlins May Trade Him During the Season and the Cubs Won't Be BuyersRegardless of when the Marlins trade Stanton, you can bet it will be when his value is at its highest. Sending him somewhere during a playoff race seems like a good place to start. I don't see how the Cubs could be looking to be buyers in any circumstance this season. Even if by some remarkable twist of fate the Cubs worked their way back into contention this season, the most they would do would be to sit still at the trade deadline. Otherwise, they're sellers through and through.
The Marlins will want top prospects for Stanton (as they should). The Cubs aren't in the position to give them that. The timing is wrong, they lack the attractive prospects, and the Marlins won't be cutting the Cubs any deals. I'd be surprised if Stanton stayed in Miami, but I'd be even more surprised if he ended up in Chicago.
Brian is a lifelongChicago Cubs follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him a chance to closely follow and report Chicago sports as a freelance writer through Yahoo! Contributor and Yahoo! Sports. He is also a senior in college majoring in English and Creative Writing.
More From This ContributorThe Real Curse of the Chicago Cubs Is Wrigley Field
- Sports & Recreation
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Miami Marlins
- Chicago Cubs
- Chicago Cubs