The title says it all. While the rumors are circulating about Castro being traded I believe the Cubs need and should shift focus to dealing for an impact offensive player and not dealing away one. Giancarlo Stanton will likely be the hottest and sought after name if he is actually put on the trading block. All the signs are pointing that he will be shopped this off-season and some rumors have the Fish looking for young impact major league or near major league pitching to go pair with Jose Fernandez. A name being tossed around is Garrit Cole of the Pirates but the Bucs maybe reluctant to pay such a big price let alone build a package around Cole for just Stanton. This kind of scenario may just benefit the Cubs in a huge way because not only do the Cubs have an impact big league pitcher with a young arm still under contract for 2 years but they have a nice depth of prospects that could go along with to sweeten the deal. But lets not get to ahead of ourselves.
So I ask why pay the large price for Giancarlo Stanton?
Giancarlo Stanton is a freak of nature standing at 6 foot 6 250 lbs at the ripe age of 23 makes him intriguing enough to call on. But if you add that last season in just 116 games he had .365 OBP (ranked 27th), 24 homers (ranked 31st), and .845 OPS (ranked 24th) all on a bad team, in a pitcher friendly park, in somewhat of a down year, and a guy who is not even eligible for free agency until 2017 then you have a guy that you pay a hefty price for. The dynamic marketing ability that Stanton brings along with his youth, yet experience in the ML, is almost unmatched around baseball. He brings the youth, affordability, and impact talent the front office of any team drools over. The fact is the Cubs do have a lot of offensive fire power coming through the minor leagues but adding Stanton to this current ML would be a much needed move now and also toward the future. Lets face some realism here; not all prospects are going to turn out stars in the Cubs system. Adding an All-Star to the Cubs current OF for the present and future lessens the sting if a prospect does not develop like they should or ends up a bust. Ginacarlo Stanton is the player the Cubs need.
What about the concerns?
Of course with any player you are going to have concerns and Stanton is no different. The fact is Giancarlo Stanton has never played a full season in the ML due to being banged up or needing extended time off. He has been on the DL or missed extended time with injuries or soreness to his knees, shoulder, back, and hamstrings. That is a major concern for a guy who is only 23 years old but could it be corrected getting him away from playing 82 games on that artificial surface in Miami? Who knows. The good thing that while it is a major concern it is really the only concern.
The talent to give up for Giancarlo Stanton?
I could put this in the concern category but with any trade you make there will be some concerns so it is a moot point. I believe the Fish will only deal Stanton for a mixture of young prospect and near major league (or major league talent). I think acquiring a pitcher with front line ability to go along with Jose Feranadez will be there major focus which is extremely valuable right now in the current market. As far as what the Cubs have to offer and willing to offer for Stanton is basically the same thing. I do not think the Cubs front office will even think about trading Baez or Bryant because they would be creating a huge hole by acquiring Stanton. I also feel bigger contract players like Castro and Rizzo are not likely to be dealt. I think the most likely player the Cubs will be willing to part with and that would interest the Fish would start with Jeff Samardzija. Although older than a prospect pitcher he has a lot of youth in his arm. He provides the Marlins a nice one-two punch with Fernandez for at least two more seasons at an affordable rate. After those two years are up the Marlins top talent should be major league ready and they could be looking to add more impact players for a playoff run which likely would include extending Shark. Oddly enough it is the very situation the Cubs are currently in with Shark but acquiring Smardijza plus some for Stanton is enough to really spark the interest of the Marlins front office.
So if I feel Samardzija is the headliner of this deal then the rest of the package has to be lower talent? Right? Well... wrong! Stanton for Samardzija plus some mid-level prospects are not going to cut it when you hear names like Jurickson Profar, Garrit Cole, and Oscar Taveras associated with Stanton in trade rumors. I believe the Cubs will have to include one of Albert Almora or Jorge Soler to go along with Shark to keep the Marlins interest and the Cubs in the running for Stanton.
So what about getting more of what the Cubs need? Like....Lets say... PITCHING!!!!
I know one of the main reasons Theo and Co. will trade Samardizja is to acquire more young impact pitching that will be ready for the big playoff push which could likely start in 2015. I think the Cubs can still get this in a deal with the Marlins that include Giancarlo Stanton. Think I am on some illegal substance???? No way! Say no to drugs and stay with me here! I think if the Cubs front office is willing to add more players to the deal they can get that young pitching they covet in a deal for Samardizja.
Players like Welington Castillo, Arismendy Alcantara, Dan Vogelbach, Jeimer Candelario, Mike Olt, Dillion Maples, and Christian Villanueva could all be part of a package to get pitching prospect in return in a Stanton deal. Most of you will see this as selling the farm but I am seeing this as dealing surplus to fill needs within the Cubs organization. Plus they won't deal all the players I have listed.
There are obviously more players within the Cubs farm system the Fish will covet that I do not have listed but Welington Castillo, Arismendy Alacantra, and Dan Vogelbach are 3 players I can see major interest from both parties. Castillo has already been the subject of the early rumor mill given the fact the front office wanting to have a more balanced lineup. Obviously dealing Castillo would leave a huge hole but cathers like Brian McCann (hit lefty) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (switch hitter) both are free agents and both have been linked to the Cubs already. Arismendy Alacantra is a high prospect in his own right. He is constantly ranked in the top 6 in the Cubs organization prospect rankings and is getting a lot of love from scouts right now. He is a natural SS but handles 2b really well. He again is depth on the Cubs prospect list crowded with infielders so he is expendable. Dan Vogelbach also has the same fate as AA. He is currently blocked by Rizzo (who is not going anywhere) and unless the DH comes to the NL then he has no place to play. I believe if the Cubs add two of Castillo, Alacantra, and Vogelbach along with one of Soler or Almora plus Samardzija the package coming back to Chicago would be quite handsome.
So if the Cubs dealt Samardzija, Soler, Alacantra, and Vogelbach what could they get back from the Marlins?
Well first off I know they could acquire Giancarlo Stanton with that package but obviously the Cubs would get more in return. I believe the Cubs could get 2 of the following players in return plus Stanton for this package:
Andrew Heaney: 22 year old lefty with good stuff and ranked 43rd best prospect and 1st overall in the Marlins organization by Baseball America. See his scouting report here.
Justin Nicolino: 21 year old lefty ranked 86th best prospect in 2013 and 4 best in the Marlins Organization by BA. See his scouting report here.
Anthony DeSclafani: 23 year old righty who was not ranked in the top 100 prospect list but is moving up the ranks. First drafted by the Red Sox in 2008 so the interest is obviously there. See his stats here.
Brian Flynn: 23 year old lefty who had a taste of the ML last season. he is not ranked in the top 100 prospects list but is a very quality pitcher. See his stats here.
Grant Dayton: 25 year old lefty who is a little old and over AA right now. He gets overlooked quite a bit but I love his make-up. See his stats here.
Jacob Turner: 22 year old Jacob Turner was once a top 25 prospect with the Tigers organization but has dropped some in the eyes of scouts. He reminds me of when the Cubs traded for Travis Wood although Turner's numbers do look better and maybe more valued. You can see his stats here.
I feel the Cubs could get any two of these players plus Stanton if they included the package of Shark, Soler, Alacantra, and Vogelbach with one exception. I doubt they could get Stanton, Turner, and Heaney for this package. It would likely have to be one or the other in respect to Turner and Heaney.
I feel the Cubs would benefit from acquiring Giancarlo Stanton and all the pros of dealing for him out weigh the cons. I also believe the Cubs and Fish will extend the deal to prospects so the Marlins can get more high impact young positional talent while the Cubs get more impact talent on the mound. After much discussion and research I see the trade playing out like this:
Cubs get: Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Nicolino, and Anthony DeSclafani.
Marlins get: Jeff Samardzija, Jorge Soler, Arismendy Alacantra, and Dan Vogelbach.
This deal benefits all and I feel this a very even trade. Feel free to discuss, argue, and evaluate!
Until Next Time...