The Pros And Cons of Trading for Giancarlo Stanton
Stanton is currently being shopped by the Marlins. Is he worth the investment?
Few players in baseball history have ever been actively shopped after coming off the type of season that Giancarlo Stanton had in 2017. Stanton is the reigning National League MVP who just had a remarkable year in which he hit 59 HRs and produced 6.9 fWAR. The 28-year-old slugger can obviously add a lot of upside to a new team in 2018, but may also have some risks that can hinder his performance and make him one of the most overpaid players in the league. Let’s take a look at some of these pros and cons:
The obvious pros to trading for Stanton are his age and his power. At only 28 years old, Stanton is still in the prime of his career, unlike many free agents who aren’t available until they’re already in their 30s. Numbers- wise, Stanton has been one of the premier talents since he first made his major league debut back in 2010. Since 2010, he has the fourth most HRs in the majors (267), the fourth highest SLG% (.554), eleventh highest fWAR (34.1), highest ISO (.286), and sixth highest wRC+ (144). This clearly makes him one of the elite run producers in baseball over the course of his career.
After a 2017 season in which he hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 HRs, 6.9 fWAR, and a 156 wRC+, he clearly is not slowing down any time soon. Needless to say, Stanton should provide major production for any team that adds him to the middle of their lineup.
The two major cons to trading for Stanton are his humongous contract and his injury history. With 10 years and 295 million dollars remaining on his contract, any team that adds him would clearly have a large financial burden on their hands for the next decade, especially if problems arise once Stanton ages.
When looking at Stanton’s injury history, it is clear that he has missed significant time throughout his career. In eight major league seasons, he has only reached 600 plate appearances three times. The good news is that he has almost always hit when healthy, but at nearly $30 million a year, teams will at least expect him to stay on the field. From 2015 to 2016, Stanton only played in a total of 193 games, and only had 788 plate appearances. Of course, he still combined to hit an impressive 54 HRs over that timeframe, but could have produced at a higher level if he was healthier.
In 2016, Stanton had a particularly poor year, hitting only .240/.326/.489 with a 116 wRC+ and 1.8 fWAR over 470 PA. Hitting at a level 16 percent above league average is nothing to sneeze at, but certainly not worth $295 million.
In conclusion, Giancarlo Stanton is clearly one of the brightest stars in all of baseball. He has the potential to completely revitalize a team’s entire lineup with his massive power and run production. His impact was on full display in 2017. However, he also has a pretty significant injury history, as well as a contract that has $295 million left on it that runs through 2027, when he will be in his late 30s. It should also be noted that teams will probably be expected to give up a hefty hall of prospects and/or young major leaguers to land him. If I were a team bidding to land Stanton’s services, I’d be wary of some of the downsides that the potential deal can have. Unless Stanton can continue to produce at the level he did in 2017, the amount of money he is owed (along with the Marlins’ asking price) may just be too much.
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