Blue Jays: Let the Red Sox have Giancarlo Stanton

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 1: Giancarlo Stanton
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 1: Giancarlo Stanton /

With rumours that the Red Sox are seriously interested in a Giancarlo Stanton trade, some folks want the Blue Jays to join the sweepstakes. I say, let them have him.

One of the worst kept secrets in baseball is that the Miami Marlins want to get their payroll down significantly from where it is now, and in order to do that they’re going to need to trade some veterans. Therefore, one of the most interesting names on the market this winter will be Giancarlo Stanton.

At the moment there are strong rumours of a connection between the NL home run king and the Boston Red Sox, a division rival for the Blue Jays. It sounds like the Sox have serious interest, and it makes sense as they’ve stated that they’d like to add an impact power bat this offseason. It would make sense that any team would want to trade for a guy who just hit 59 home runs, but of course there’s a catch: the 10 years and 295 million guaranteed remaining on his contract.

He signed a monster 13 year, 325 contract before the 2015 season, and the Marlins have had an amazing deal for their slugger, as they backloaded the deal in typical Jeffrey Loria fashion. It worked though, as the Marlins only paid just 30 million for the first three years of his deal, and now look certain to send him to a new team.

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There have been many writers around baseball who think the Blue Jays could or should join the Stanton trade discussions, including some of our very own at the Jays Journal. There’s no doubt that he’d be a great get for the 2018 season and the immediate term, but I’d be very reluctant to trade for a player with that kind of scratch left to be paid out. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say, “let the Red Sox have him”.

Again, I’m not talking down Stanton’s abilities at all, and at just 28 years old he should have plenty of prime left. The thought of him mashing balls against or over the Green Monster is intimidating to say the least. But we’re talking about 10 years and 295 million guaranteed. He’ll make 25 million in 2018, and his annual salary will gradually rise and fall, peaking at 32 million per season as a 34-36 year old.

The Red Sox will always be among the bigger spenders in baseball, but the way their current group is constructed, it’s possible they’ll eventually run into a situation where they can’t keep everybody around, and that’s where acquiring Stanton now could really hurt them in the long run. They’ve got young stars like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley, as well as cheapers stars like Chris Sale, and Drew Pomeranz, who will all eventually get significant raises. There’s still significant time and dollars on the commitment to David Price as well.

As a Blue Jays fan, I’ve never liked watching division rivals like the Yankees and Red Sox open their wallets and grab the premier players on the market, but in the modern game that is rarely the best approach anymore, and I’m curious to see how each team handles this offseason. Both clubs’ recent success has been largely because of their home grown stars, and not by bullying the free agent market. The ability is still there, but they’ve shown uncharacteristic restraint in recent years.

Which is why as a Jays fan, I’d be more than fine with the Red Sox making a trade for Stanton, especially if they send back significant assets in return. It may help push them over the top in some ways for the immediate future, but I would argue that any contract like that is ultimately a detriment to the club distributing the cheques. I’m not advocating for a hard, five year limit for the Blue Jays like we saw in the Paul Beeston era, but I definitely understand it.

I may just sound like a Rogers’ apologist (I’m not), but I’ve never been a fan of making that long and significant of a commitment to one player. Too many things can happen in a decade, whether it’s a change in performance standards, or a significant injury, and I would legitimately vote against the Blue Jays making a trade for him (not that I get one of those). If a division rival wants to take on a contract that I would be afraid of, and send significant assets back in return, that could ultimately turn out to be a major win for the Blue Jays in the East.

Just think of the dead money the Sox are paying Pablo Sandoval for the next few years that they could be spending on someone like Stanton, or on locking up their young core. That’s going to sting a little even if they’re a big spender, and would be just the sort of thing that would scare me away if I were a GM.

Next: Blue Jays & Marlins: An alternate trade scenario