There have been some rumors running around lately that Los Angeles is where Giancarlo Stanton would most like to land, since the Marlins have made it known that the NL MVP is very likely to be traded this offseason. And why wouldn’t it be?
Stanton attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, and grew up rooting for the Dodgers. Those Dodgers had the best record in baseball, and came this close to winning the World Series last year. A bat like Stanton’s could likely push the Dodgers over the edge and finally win the World Series.
Many teams have expressed interest in the All-Star outfielder, with two that are known to have submitted offers to the Marlins, those being the St Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. Sarah wrote on Wednesday why Dodger fans shouldn’t worry if the Giants ended up getting Stanton. If the Cardinals, or any other team not in the NL West made the trade, it probably wouldn’t affect the Dodgers too much unless they happened to meet that team in the playoffs.
So for fun, let’s take a look at what the Dodgers would look like if they somehow did acquire Stanton. Indeed, it is a drool worthy lineup (or one to be absolutely feared, if you’re a fan of the team the Dodgers would be facing). Stanton most often batted second for the Marlins, as he was obviously one of their best hitters. In the Dodgers lineup, this most likely wouldn’t be the case. Los Angeles already has a solid 1-4 lineup in Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger. If you’re going to include Stanton in the top four, one of those batters is going to get demoted.
Perhaps it would be Chris Taylor, but then who do you bat leadoff? If Andrew Toles rejoins the lineup, on would assume that Taylor or Toles will be leadoff. Seager has been consistent in the two hole for most of his major league career, and he’s the perfect fit there. Justin Turner has the league best batting average and OPS for most of season last year, would it be prudent to move him further down the lineup? If you keep the first four the same, what a luxury it would be to have a player that hit 59 home runs last year batting fifth. Or if you move him somewhere 2-4, you have the last two rookies of the year, or one of last year’s best hitter in the five hole. Then you still have Logan Forsythe lurking somewhere, not to mention either Yasmani Grandal or Austin Barnes. An embarrassment of riches.
The downside to having Stanton on the team would be whomever you would have to give up to make the trade work. And that would most likely mean Yasiel Puig would be gone, and that to me would not be worth it. I have written before about how much I think Puig belongs in Dodger Blue, and this season he just had cemented it.
There is also the issue of the hefty contract Stanton would bring with him to L.A. He is currently owed $295 million over the next ten years. The Dodgers have been trying to lower their payroll ever since the new management took over in 2012. A few big contracts did come off the book recently, but 2018 is the last year of Clayton Kershaw‘s contract before he can opt out, and re-signing Kershaw should be a top priority of the Dodgers. The front office’s MO also has been to sign under-the-radar players and mold them into what they think they can be, and not to go out and get superstars.
Still, with Stanton having a full no trade clause, he has the ability to wait everyone out if Los Angeles is truly where he wants to be. I don’t believe it will happen, but it will be an incredibly interesting thing to keep an eye on over the offseason.
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