With the MLB trade deadline just weeks away, the Miami Marlins could shop Giancarlo Stanton – not necessarily to make the franchise better, but to reduce debt to make a potential purchase more appealing to future owners.
Stanton, 27, is hitting .271 with 23 homers, 54 RBIs, and a .353 OBP for Miami (38-45).
“If I’m the Marlins’ fans, it would be sickening to me to hear that,” MLB on Fox announcer Kevin Burkhardt said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Even though they haven’t had the year they’ve wanted, it’s been because of pitching. They have so many good young hitters, they have a fun lineup, and I think they’ve got some building blocks there.”
Unfortunately, the Marlins are still reeling from the loss of Jose Fernandez, who died last September in a tragic boating accident.
“If you lose a guy like that in your clubhouse – your ace – and you didn’t have a deep pitching staff anyway, that’s tough to recover from,” Burkhardt said. “If I’m a new owner coming in, I don’t want these parts removed. I want to evaluate it for myself.”
Stanton is in the third year of a 13-year, $325-million deal.
“Obviously it’s a ton of money, and he has had injury problems in the past,” Burkhardt acknowledged. “However, as we know, he’s one of the most dangerous hitters in the game, he’s a good guy to have around, he’s exciting for the fans, and he’s somebody that people pay money to go watch.”
While $25 million is a lot of money now, even for one of the best hitters in baseball, it could become the status quo next year when Bryce Harper and Manny Machado become free agents. Both are expected to earn at least $25 million a year, maybe more.
“If you take it in a context like that, it’s actually not a terrible contract to take,” Burkhardt said. “It’s not great, but it could be worse, and it’s certainly doable for the big teams. Personally, I’d be surprised if he got traded. I still think that to do that before an ownership group gets in, yeah, maybe some ownerships want to have the clean slate and want to have the money off the books. But maybe some actually see it as, ‘Hey, we got some building blocks here. Let’s re-market this. Let’s re-tool this. We’ve got a chance to win a division that, other than the Nationals, is brutal.’ So my gut says he won’t be traded.”