It’s a little over a month before the trade deadline hits and the rumor mill is already heating up, with the latest being the Philadelphia Phillies said to be interested in Miami Marlins slugger, Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins could look to put Stanton on the trade block with the team sitting in fourth place in the NL East, owning one of the driest farm systems in the majors, and losing the weight of Stanton’s huge contract could help them have more flexibility going forward, especially if the organization has new management coming in.
The Phillies have been said to be interested in Stanton internally by Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo, and not only are the Phillies interested in Stanton, but they are also looking at acquiring Christian Yelich as well. The Phillies have the money to take on Stanton’s contract and the means to get him with one of the best farm systems in the majors that can stand to take a hit from a big trade like this. The Phillies are weak at both corner outfield positions and the uncertainty of the outfield prospects they do have panning out, makes this possible scenario attractive.
Heading into his age 27 season, Stanton, when healthy, is one of the best power hitters in the league and he could easily hit 50 home runs at Citizens Bank Park. Stanton has hit at least 20 home runs or more in every season since he broke into the league in 2010 and he would be all the protection the other Phillies hitters need with him sitting in the middle of the lineup. Taking on his 13-year, $325-million-dollar contract is scary to think about after the Phillies just finally got done with Ryan Howard’s 5-year, $125-million-dollar contract, however, the Phillies would be getting a superstar, something they seriously need.
Stanton can opt-out of his contract following the 2020 season and the Marlins rewarded him with a full no-trade clause, the first in Marlins history, so he would have to approve any deal. The chances of Stanton ever wanting to come to Philadelphia is unknown and he might look more towards the west coast if he were to be traded.
Christian Yelich being thrown into this deal would jump the cost up considerably, and for good reason because there is a lot to like about the 25-year-old. Yelich is a solid hitter, who won a Silver Slugger award last year and saw a huge uptick in home runs with 21 after only going deep a combined 20 times in his first three seasons in the majors. He’s also a gold glove defender that can play all three outfield positions and he has yet to commit a error this year in 554 1/3 innings in center field.
A player like Yelich could command a big haul by himself due to the fact that he is under team control until 2021 with an option for 2022, and is one of the best outfielders overall. Teams love players like him because they don’t have to worry about him jumping ship for a guaranteed amount of time and it’s one of the reasons why the Phillies were able to get five players in return for former closer, Ken Giles.
The Phillies would have to give up a ton of talent to pull off a trade including both Stanton and Yelich and they would be probably better off just going for Stanton to limit some of the damage to their farm system. This rebuild has been going on for six years now and Stanton could help accelerate it immensely, possibly turning the Phillies into instant competitors, or at least start consistently having winning seasons again.
Pulling off a deal like this could most likely end this rebuild and the fact the Phillies have shown interest in something like this demonstrates they are determined to win. With the way the 2018 free agency class is shaping up, highlighted by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the Phillies should stay put for now because they can get a superstar then without dipping deep into their farm system and they shouldn’t hurt their financial flexibility when they don’t absolutely have to.