Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is more than likely going to be traded this winter. The 28-year-old crushed 59 home runs last season, but the Marlins—under new ownership—are looking to cut significant payroll as the franchise receives a massive facelift.
The Marlins have already entertained trade offers for Stanton, who has 10 years and $295 million left on his contract. He has a full no-trade clause, and only a handful of teams make sense for Stanton. He's stated that he doesn't want to be part of another rebuild and will want the chance to compete for a winner.
That narrows the list of Stanton suitors down significantly, but here are the five that make the most sense for him.
5. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have a long history of handing out fat contracts, so chances are John Henry's ownership is happy to take on the money. The only problem is that Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported that the team has "tepid" interest in acquiring the star outfielder.
But Boston could put together the best possible package. They've got a young outfield in stars Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. President Dave Dombrowski has gutted the farm system to win now, so it wouldn't be surprising if he added another power bat to increase this team's chances of winning.
The Red Sox hit the fewest home runs in the A.L. last season, and having Stanton come in to clean up the mess would make them the team to beat.
4. St. Louis Cardinals
Missing the playoffs in consecutive years is considered a disaster in St. Louis—that's just how good the Cardinals have been in the 21st century. With the rival Chicago Cubs reigning supremacy in the N.L. Central, St. Louis has to make a power move to get back in the playoff race
The Cardinals have a great package of prospects and outfielders to trade, and they have the money to take on Stanton's contract. They also have much lower tax rates than California, which would help him save up significant money.
Stanton and the Cardinals make plenty of sense. But is he interested in going there, and can they present the same offer? Those two factors stand in the way of making this match made in Heaven actually happen.
3. New York Yankees
The Yankees shocked everybody by not only making the playoffs in 2017, but coming within one victory of reaching the World Series. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but it turns out they're primed to win for many years.
New York boasts a lethal young core of Aaron Judge (52 homers in 2017), Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, Ronald Torreyes and Starlin Castro. Owned by the Steinbrenner family, the Yankees are no stranger to taking on massive contracts. Payroll is not an issue for this team.
Stanton would join a young team that is in an excellent position to win for the next decade. The idea of him and Judge in the same lineup would be historic, and fun to watch. With many young prospects to offer up, the Yankees have a very good shot at landing Stanton. But again, does he want to go there?
2. San Francisco Giants
Right now, the Giants appear to be the favorites to land Giancarlo Stanton. Jon Morosi of MLB Network had this major update to share.
Giancarlo Stanton trade development: Source says #Marlins likely would accept offer of Panik, Beede and Shaw for Stanton alone -- if #SFGiants committed to paying at least $250 million of the $295 million left on Stanton’s contract. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 30, 2017
The Giants have made the playoffs every even year since 2010, which includes three World Series championships. But they're looking to come off an embarrassing 2017 season, and landing Stanton would put them up there with the other National League powerhouses.
Of course, going to California could lose Stanton $25-27.5 million, as ESPN's Buster Olney reported. But the Giants give Stanton the chance to win immediately, and he'd be a huge impact bat on a very good lineup that has Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and others.
At this point, the main obstacle is if Stanton is okay with losing a considerable amount of cash in taxes.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers nearly won their first World Series in 29 years but fell to the Astros in a thrilling seven-game series. But with Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner in the fold, this team has plenty of championship contention ahead of them.
So why not go for it all and trade for Stanton? Their payroll is at an all-time high under Magic Johnson's ownership group, and the Dodgers probably offer Stanton the best chance to win right away. They also have a very good farm system to make a trade work.
The Dodgers are always in play for the top stars available, and trading for Stanton would make them nearly impossible to beat if they weren't already. This is the best place for Stanton to win, and he's the best player for the Dodgers to chase right now.