To be honest, the offseason frustrates me more than the regular season does. At least in the regular season, the team can right some wrongs just by winning a game the next day and everyone will be happy and content. Beers all around.
Now, however, no one will be fine unless the Red Sox get every single good player available. And I mean every single one. That includes one Mr. Giancarlo Stanton.
Don’t get me wrong, Giancarlo Stanton’s a great young player. Being only 24 years young, his hit tool is unbelievable, and he makes any other corner outfielder’s production look puny in comparison. This is in no way a rag sheet on Stanton himself. He’s not the problem here. This is more of a public service announcement to get people to please stop pushing for a trade.
First off, this is a paraphrase of the last known news on Stanton’s trade availability: no.
The Marlins aren’t going to trade him this winter, which basically means unless you throw everything – including the kitchen sink – at Miami, they won’t even start talking to you. You think they weren’t open to trades during the season? They definitely aren’t now. Attempting to pry Stanton away from the Marlins is a fool’s gambit, because if it takes that much to just get in the door, imagine how high the price will be to get what you want.
The Stanton Trade Talks Club entry form would be filled out like a circle-what-you-want menu that would be something similar to this:
- Pick 1: Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr.
- Pick 2: Matt Barnes, Garin Cecchini, Henry Owens
- Pick 1: Blake Swihart, Deven Marrero
That doesn’t even include any major leaguers the Red Sox would probably have to send. That’s borderline insane right there. I don’t even think Mike Trout would currently be worth a grab bag of these guys. That’s how much inherent value these prospects have, and I propose the ridiculously crazy idea that maybe the Sox should, like, keep them because they’re good and stuff.
Nevertheless, there are some who continue to insist that the Red Sox have to do it. “They have the right pieces!” they cry. “Boston has to defend the title!” they scream. “The Sox need him!” they clamor. Truth is, any trade you have to make is a bad trade. It’s bad business if you absolutely positively must make a transaction like this. You’re begging to be ripped off, and even if the Marlins aren’t the paragon of smart decisions, Miami general manager Dan Jennings won’t settle for the minimum. That’s why he’s a GM. He’s got cost-controlled, fantastic young player with a lot of growth ahead of him, so Jennings will get as much as he can for him.
For the Red Sox, a trade like this would be akin to a return to the Stone Age. Those seven guys up there either are or will be major-league ready within the next two years. They are valuable solutions to positional gaps and solid depth. Want to know what happens when a team has no internal solutions for injuries or depth? You get the Red Sox in 2011 & 2012, a period in which Tim Wakefield (4.99 FIP in ’11), Kyle Weiland (6.55 FIP in ’11) and Aaron Cook (5.45 FIP in ’12) combined for a mind-numbing fifty-one starts. 51 games out of 324. The Red Sox began 15% of those games in 2011 & 2012 with a high chance of losing simply from the ineptitude of the starters they used because their minor leagues were barren at the time.
The “no matter the cost” crowd terrifies me. They would set fire to the entire farm system, throwing away guys like Mookie Betts for Stanton. I’m glad none of them are in the front office, because they’d turn the Red Sox into the American League version of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies have almost nothing of note in their farm system, and had to use guys such as Freddy Galvis (0.1 fWAR in ’13), Darin Ruf (0.1 fWAR in ’13), and the indomitable Michael Young (0.0 fWAR in ’13) to play unreasonable amounts of innings for them. That’s what happens when you trade everything for Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Sure, they were – and in Lee’s case, still is – good at pitching, but now the Phillies are left with nothing else in the minors.
Those are the pitfalls when it comes to trading for Stanton. Fans, and even some beat writers are so enamored with the fact that the Red Sox can trade for the outfielder. That never means that they should. The stardom that Stanton exudes seems to blind people from the ludicrously steep cost, and hopefully Ben Cherington isn’t just as sightless. All the top prospects Boston has now are worth more combined than just one massive trade for a single player. The Red Sox just climbed out of the mediocrity of 2011 & 2012 with a lot of help from their farm system. There’s no need to go back to where we started.