The Marlins admitted they’re trading Giancarlo Stanton to cut salary and are paying for that mistake
Live and learn, Jeets.
The Marlins’ new ownership admitted to everyone in listening distance that they were planning to cut salary this offseason. Practically sang it from a mountaintop. And since Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is the size of one of the lesser Alps, cutting salary means trading their best player.
Everybody knew this before they said anything, but officially revealing their front office strategy removed any last bit of leverage they might have had in this situation, and now they’re paying for it in the trade market.
Giancarlo Stanton trade development: Sources say multiple teams told #Marlins that Stanton’s contract (10 years, $295 million) is roughly what he’d receive on open market. Thus, #Marlins would need to include cash in order to obtain high-level prospects. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 15, 2017
Key takeaway: #Marlins’ dream scenario of complete $295 million salary relief *and* multiple high-end prospects is probably unrealistic. One rival exec estimated Marlins will need to include ~$5 million per year in order to receive good prospect value. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 15, 2017
Who could have seen this coming? Besides basically every other ownership group around the league.
If they hadn’t opened their hungry-for-salary-relief mouths, there would at least be some semblance of leverage on the Marlins’ side of things. Instead, they’re going to be paying part of Stanton’s salary or begging for the prospects they need to support the decision to trade him in the first place.
Of course, the one thing they do have in their corner is that they could just...not trade him. Or at least heavily hint that they won’t do it after all.
It’s unlikely, but also seems to be the tactic they are going with at the moment as they leave the Giants twisting in the wind.
The Miami Marlins are not close to trading Giancarlo Stanton but the #SFGiants have been the most aggressive team in trade talks.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 16, 2017
If some teams’ argument right now is that Stanton would be worth the same on the open market, the one thing they’re missing in that otherwise airtight reasoning is that...he’s not on the open market. His true free agent value doesn’t really matter because that’s not the case here.
The Marlins get to make the decision here and even though they laid their hand on the table way before betting was over this round, they might still be able to redeem themselves here because they have the shiny chip that everybody else wants.
Depending on their internal target for salary shedding, coughing up $5 million a year through 2027 isn’t all that bad if it means they can haggle for multiple solid-to-great prospects in return.
After broadcasting their plans to the league without a care in the world, that might be their best possible outcome when they finally part ways with Stanton.