This offseason I’ve well documented how the Detroit Tigers are in a mode of win at any cost. No contract seems too lofty. No prospect is likely safe. Well entrenched players may not have the job security they’d hope to. The Detroit Tigers see their time as now.
Fortunately, the Tigers have a nucleus of players that are under team control for years to come. The window is now, but it’s not about to be slammed shut. The Tigers are still looking to improve at shortstop and potentially in left field as well. They continue to shop Rick Porcello, but are taking their time to make sure the deal is right.
And while GM Dave Dombrowski continues to tweak things up north, one of his most common trading partners from the south operates in total upheaval. The Miami Marlins had everyone believing at this time last year, with their new ballpark and revamped big dollar payroll, that they were ready to play with the big boys. And now they’ve sold off almost all of their valuable pieces and look to be in a complete rebuilding mode.
Could these two organizations once again meet head on in a deal of immense proportion? While the Marlins have been shedding payroll and collecting prospects for the past 6 months or so, they have also been doing something else; alienating their best player.
Giancarlo Stanton is not a happy man. His friends with acceptable statistical histories are gone, playing baseball elsewhere. And when a 23-year old who has redefined the term light-tower power, plays a good outfield, and just set a new career high by hitting .290 isn’t happy, other teams tend to foam at the mouth.
Nobody hits the ball harder and farther than Stanton. He pounded out 37 homers in 2012 despite missing over a month of action due to injury. He did this while playing in a mammoth home ballpark in Miami. Stanton has increased his batting average, on-base %, and slugging % each of his 3 years in the big leagues. His star is on the rise, fast.
Dombrowski has done a lot of his trading with the Marlins. He dumped then top prospects Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller for Miguel Cabrera prior to the 2008 season. Last year he dumped two more top prospects, Jacob Turner and Rob Brantly, in exchange for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. Just before the 2010 season began, Detroit sent Nate Roberson to the Marlins in a low-end trade.
The comfort level is there. The history of Detroit trading top prospects for proven commodities is well ingrained. Could history repeat itself yet again?
Many insiders who have been trying to ignite the Stanton trade rumors haven’t mentioned the Tigers as a potential suitor. They say Detroit either doesn’t have the pieces to move or that they aren’t willing to move the ones that it would take to get him. I say, think again. Win at any cost, remember?
Acquiring Stanton would almost certainly require the Tigers to unload both Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia, possibly Porcello, and others. It’s an offer that the Marlins would have to pay attention to.
Yes, Detroit would be parting ways with their top 2 impact prospects. Castellanos and Garcia have future All-Star written all over them. But guess what, Stanton already is an All-Star. Stanton is a 6’5’’, 248 pounder who looks more bodybuilder than baseball player. His course toward the all-time home run record is already taking shape. He boasts 93 career home runs and has yet to take an at-bat as a 23-year old.
Castellanos and Garcia might end up as cornerstone players one day. And they might not. Paging Andrew Miller…
Known commodities always trump the projection game, especially when said commodity is under team control until 2017 and doesn’t even hit arbitration until after the 2013 season. The Tigers would be selling their future and acquiring it all at the same time.
They would also have the best roster in all of baseball if Stanton were brought in, Washington Nationals included. A lineup in 2013 could look like this:
- Jackson – CF
- Hunter – LF
- Cabrera – 3B
- Fielder – 1B
- Stanton – RF
- Martinez – DH
- Peralta – SS
- Avila – C
- Infante – 2B
Opposing managers would tremble at the sight of it. Opposing pitchers would simply be in the way. It would be a league-shaking move to be sure. Things have been very quiet on the Tigers rumor mill of late. That usually means something big is about to pop. Stay tuned.
To receive an email each time a new Tigers article is published, fill out the Email Notification Form
[Follow me on Twitter @isportsJoe]