Don't get me wrong; the ideal scenario in most Marlins fans' minds involves Giancarlo Stanton signing a long-term extension and putting up MVP-caliber numbers for the next 10-12 seasons. This article assumes that a long-term deal is not in the offing and instead looks at potential trades that make sense for the Marlins and their potential trade partner.
Theo Epstein's Chicago Cubs have assembled an impressive arsenal of young (25 and under) offensive talent.
Speedy center fielder Arismendy Alcantara (22), powerful second baseman/shortstop Javier Baez (21) and slugging corner outfielder Jorge Soler (22), who homered to dead center field in his first MLB at bat, have all arrived in Chicago this season.
Of course, this doesn't even include Kris Bryant (22) a 3B prospect who is considered to be one of the best prospects in baseball after hitting 40+ homers this season in Double-A and Triple-A, or outfielder Albert Almora (20), who is quickly rising through the minors. It likewise does not include Kyle Schwarber (21), the #4 pick in the 2014 draft, a power hitting catcher who the Marlins were rumored to be interested in selecting before ultimately choosing Tyler Kolek at #2.
In short, the Cubs' cupboard is fully stocked, offensively speaking. This means there is no shortage of possibilities for combinations of players they could conceivably put together for Giancarlo Stanton. As luck would have it, the Cubs have logjams at shortstop and in the outfield, two positions where the Marlins have needs (assuming Stanton is traded).
In exchange for Stanton (and perhaps one the the Fish's numerous Triple-A starters, like Brian Flynn or Adam Conley), the Marlins should ask for Starlin Castro, who is under contract until 2020 at a manageable $7.5 million per season, Jorge Soler, who is in the second year of a nine-year, $30 million contract, and Schwarber, who may prove to be the solution to the Marlins' recent power shortage at first base should the team choose to move him away from catcher.
Castro would provide a significant offensive upgrade over Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop and Soler could prove to be another freakish Yasiel Puig-like athlete in the outfield. Between him and Ozuna, it would be difficult to imagine many third base coaches sending runners home on close plays.
Stanton offers the young Cubs an instant injection of power and, provided he signs a long term contract, he becomes the centerpiece of a team that would project to be a contender for the foreseeable future for a franchise that has no problem spending money and drawing fans, two things that the Marlins have not been able to offer, much to Stanton's dismay.
Of course, this all hinges on Stanton agreeing to either a sign-and-trade or a long-term deal with the Cubs, as the Cubs certainly would not be willing to part with Castro and Soler for just 2 years of Stanton. Given Stanton's affinity for his home state of California, it is unclear whether he would be interested, but it is certainly an intriguing possibility.
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