Marlin Apocalypse: Josh Hamilton Puts Giancarlo Stanton Back on Trading Block

What the heck, 12/21/12 is right around the corner anyway, why not go full out? Could it be that the Marlins are going to rescind and pull the trigger on a deal to trade the best young slugger in the game, Giancarlo Stanton?

First of all, Josh Hamilton just signed a 5 year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (yeah, and all the Marlins did was change their name from Florida to Miami). That is huge news as that lineup is probably the most feared in baseball now. But what does that have to do with Giancarlo Stanton?

Joe Frisaro suggests that this forces teams like the Texas Rangers to start thinking about making a deal for the immediate future no matter what the long term cost. The Rangers have a loaded farm system and two names do jump out right away: SS prospect Jurickson Profar and 3B prospect Mike Olt. In Olt, the Marlins would be getting their 3B of the now and future – and would immediately upgrade the position. Olt has power and can field his spot, being named one of the top defensive 3B in the minors and his 28 HRs are not something to overlook either. With Profar, the Marlins would be getting another stud SS prospect to really beef up their farm system – the likes of which could shape up to be another Hanley Ramirez type of player.

Frisaro makes the point that the Marlins would be severely upgrading their infrastructure – something that will not get the hype from fans, but will be a strong long term maneuver to secure this franchise and turn into a winner. With Stanton being noticeably frustrated with the direction of the Marlins, and there is a clear balk at signing anything long term with this franchise, the Marlins long term picture may be fuzzy on Stanton indeed. Stanton, being from California, is probably doing a lot of California dreaming at this point with the cold war mounting between the Dodgers and Angels over their pocketbooks.

Fact is, the Marlins have a huge bargaining chip with Stanton right now. His pay is going to be extremely valuable on top of the fact that he already has hit nearly 100 career home runs and is still extremely young. The Marlins would risk giving up on an all time great, but the pay off may be pretty huge down the road, too.

As much as it would pain me to see Stanton leave the Marlins, this may be a move that makes sense – albeit a high risk move in that you risk totally alienating your fan base to try and build a long term winner. The Marlins would then return to their young core and have to make full commitments, signing them long term. This just smells like a Marlin move – they shed their best player to get younger, deeper, and over the long haul, better. Of course the fans would riot and you would have the usual response but again, this just seems like something the Marlins would do.