According to Jon Morosi, the Marlins have agreed to a “general framework” of a trade for Giancarlo Stanton with both the Giants and the Cardinals.
So what does this mean?
It means that Stanton has a choice to make. He can either choose to stay in Miami, go out to the west coast in San Francisco, or he can choose St. Louis.
It has been widely reported that the Dodgers are at the top of the list for Stanton, but it doesn’t seem that LA is a major player in the Stanton sweepstakes at this point.
Stanton doesn’t want to live in St. Louis. He would much rather have the high life on the west coast closer to where he is from. But he has shown his worries with the Giants organization ability to win now and he doesn’t want to stay in Miami for a rebuild.
If he wants to win, St. Louis is the answer.
But what if he doesn’t choose St. Louis?
Firstly, there will be a lot of fans who are upset, and understandably so. But here is the thing, the Cardinals organization did everything they could. The Marlins have basically agreed to the terms already. It’s all up to Stanton, and if he doesn’t want to play in St. Louis… so be it. Do not blame the organization for not nabbing Stanton.
If the Cardinals want an elite middle order bat, they will have to look elsewhere. Unfortunately there really isn’t an elite hitter via free agency besides J.D. Martinez. Unfortuntely, he isn’t what the Cardinals need for a more athletic and defense minded team. It also doesn’t help that Martinez is represented by Scott Boras and is looking for a contract in the “200 Million Dollar range” according to Jerry Crasnick earlier this month.
The Cardinals can choose this off-season to bolster the pitching staff in a way that will ensure more wins. If you remember back in 2015, the Cardinals won 100 games without a stellar offense (11th in NL in runs scored). They were able to win because of lights out pitching. They led all of Major League Baseball with a ridiculous 2.94 ERA as a team.
Right now, the rotation is an issue for the Cardinals that I am curious as to how they will sort out. They lost 2 of their starting 5 from last year (Leake via trade, Lynn via free agency) and they have a problem with an aging Adam Wainwright and uncertainty with Michael Wacha. The only confident starter is Carlos Martinez and there is a good opportunity for a guy like Luke Weaver to get a full time spot in the rotation this season. In a previous article, I brought up the idea of the Cardinals pursuing Chris Archer via trade from Tampa Bay, and going after a guy like Jake Arrieta in free agency. I’m also a big fan of signing a couple relievers with the hope of getting a closer as well.
We then wait until the 2018 Free Agent class to find our middle order bat. That Class has the likes of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson ( who the Cardinals have been rumored with in trade talks), Brian Dozier, and Charlie Blackmon. Any of these guys could make an immediate impact for the club.
Right now, we need to stay patient. Stanton has the final say, and as an organization and a fan base, there is nothing more we can do but wait.