January 3, 2013 by Matt Musico
I mean, why not? They’ve already traded everyone else away this off-season. A year removed from making big splashes in the free agent market to sign Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Mark Buehrle to multi-year deals, the Marlins couldn’t have turned in a more disappointing season, as they finished dead last in the NL East with a 69-93 record. So, instead of giving it another try with their $100 million payroll, they decided to tear everything down and start from scratch, as they dealt Reyes, Buehrle, John Buck, Josh Johnson, and Emilio Bonifacio to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a bunch of prospects and Yunel Escobar, who is now a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
In addition to that monster deal, Miami shipped out Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate to the Dodgers last July, while also getting rid of Heath Bell after he endured a tough season. So, the only player with star potential on their roster is Giancarlo Stanton. Some would argue Ricky Nolasco is considered a star, but not compared to their slugging outfielder. He is coming off his best overall season in 2012, despite only playing in 123 games, as he hit .290/.361/.608 with 37 homers and 86 RBI while manning right field in Miami. Reports have surfaced recently that the Marlins are willing to listen to what teams have to offer to try and pry Stanton from their grip, but it’s unlikely he’ll be moved.
After the trade with Toronto went down, Giancarlo went to twitter and voiced his displeasure, as he saw a team with a good nucleus to compete around him be gutted in a matter of hours. As a player, he has every right to be upset about what has happened this off-season, and no one will blame him for not considering to sign a long-term deal to stay with the Marlins once he’s no longer under team control. For Miami, it makes sense to trade Stanton now and get a large return for him. If any team is bold enough to offer a boatload of top prospects in exchange for him, they shouldn’t hesitate and complete a deal.
Stanton is already unhappy about what’s going on there, which could in turn affect the clubhouse and team chemistry. Plus, when he becomes arbitration-eligible next year, he will have a high price tag (especially if he continues to perform since his rookie campaign of 2010), one that Miami will be unwilling to pay. So, why not trade him now, as he’s coming off two consecutive seasons in which he’s hit 30+ homers and driven in 80+ runs at the young age of 22? It’s possible Stanton would be the only draw for fans to come and pay the price of admission for a Marlins game in 2013, but if he’s not going to be in the team’s long-term plans (and that looks more than likely), selling high may be the most prudent thing to do.