Analyzing the Potential Trade For Giancarlo Stanton Between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins


While the big news around the baseball world this afternoon has been the biogenesis scandal, I came across something else that deserved to be talked about.

Our friends over at FanSided’s Marlin Maniac reported news on a trade proposed from the Pirates to the Marlins that included Giancarlo Stanton. The Stanton to Pittsburgh rumors are done for this year. Fans don’t have to worry about all the speculations regarding a possible trade of Stanton to the Pirates, and with the trade deadline passing on July 31st, all of those are gone.

Nobody, other than the Pirates and their front office, were ever up to date on what the proposed trade – if there even was one – for Stanton was. Thanks to Marlin Maniac, we now have a general idea of what was apparently offered to the Marlins from the Pirates. I am not sure if Marlin Maniac is correct with their alleged report, but the trade rumor seems realistic enough to be broken down.

The proposed trade was Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Starling Marte, and Stetson Allie for Stanton, Steve Cishek, and Justin Ruggiano.

What a massive trade. Had that gone through, it would have been one of the biggest trades in franchise history. We aren’t sure how true the rumors are of this trade, but you would have to think that the talks between Pittsburgh and Miami were in someway or another very similar to this offer. I definitely question the source of this trade rumor, but whether it was true or not, I’m going to have a little fun with it and break the deal down.

Aug 2, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for a base hit during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates supposedly offered this to the Marlins, and Miami shot it down. I find it hard to believe that Miami would turn a deal like this down, considering all the talent they’d be getting in return. Giancarlo Stanton is a player that a lot of general managers around the league would love to build their team around, and it makes sense that the Marlins would want to hang onto him and lock him up long-term at some point. What the Marlins would have been getting in return though is way too much for a struggling franchise like them to turn down.

Cole and Taillon are the two top pitching prospects in the Pirates organization. Cole was a top-ten prospect coming into the year, and all Pirate fans are now aware of what he’s capable of doing after seeing his first two months in the MLB. The Pirates ace in a few years is either going to be Cole or Taillon, and the Marlins would have been getting both.

Mar. 10, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Canada pitcher Jameson Taillon throws in the first inning against USA during the World Baseball Classic at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Taillon is currently the #1 ranked prospect in the Pirates deep farm system, which is impressive when you look at some of the other talent around the organization. He’s’s 11th ranked prospect throughout the whole league. He was recently promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis, and the former first round pick has all the intangibles of being one of the more dominate pitchers in the MLB one he gets some big league experience under his belt.

A rotation of Cole, Taillon, Jose Fernandez, and Jacob Turner would have been scary for other teams, and in a few years Miami would have been looking at one of the best rotations in the MLB.

While the Marlins and their fans would’ve hated giving up a talent such as Stanton, they have Marte to replace him who could make an immediate impact.

Stanton is currently 23-years old and is under contract until 2017. While imagining him in a lineup with Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen is fun and all, you have to think about who the Pirates are giving away to get him. Marte has proven to the league that he is an everyday big-league player, and some followers of the Pirates say that the 24-year old has the talent to be as good as, if not better, than McCutchen in the long-run. While I disagree with people saying Marte has more upside than Cutch, it’s not out of the question to say something like that.

Jul 27, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte reacts after being called out at first base against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Pirates won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Marte should be a Pittsburgh for a while, and an outfield that will eventually consist of Marte, McCutchen, and Gregory Polanco/Josh Bell is going to an amazing thing to watch. Stanton would have made an immediate impact and been around for four potential pennant races, but as I said earlier, think about the Bucs having to give up Cole and Taillon for him.

While Cole, Taillon, and Marte all look to be big-time MLB players, Allie’s name was also included in this rumored trade. The loss of Allie wouldn’t have been that tough to overcome, but there’s still some upside from the slugging first basemen in Bradenton. Despite being drafted as a pitcher, Allie’s poor control eventually convinced the Pirates organization to pull the plug on his pitching career and convert him to a position player. His season with the West Virginia Power this year was unbelievable and record-setting on many levels, and this article I wrote from mid-June breaks all of that down.

The other two players mentioned in the deal that would be coming to the Pirates were Justin Ruggiano and Steve Cishek. Ruggiano isn’t any sort of huge addition, and the 31-year old outfielder wouldn’t be needed for anything more than a bat coming off the bench. He is under contract, like Stanton, through 2017, but Ruggiano isn’t the type of player the Bucs should have been looking for in return for Cole, Taillon, Marte, and Allie.

Cishek is currently the closer of the Marlins and has been a decent one at that. He would have been a decent addition to the Shark Tank, and if I had to guess, would’ve helped set-up Melancon the rest of the way (considering Grilli doesn’t return). While the 27-year old would have been a nice piece for the ‘pen down the stretch, I would definitely pass picking him up if it meant saving the top two arms in the Pirates system.

Bottom line:

Whether this trade rumor is accurate or not, it’s one that I’m amazed was shot down by the Marlins. For a team that’s currently in it’s rebuilding stages, 1) two first-round picks within the past three seasons, 2) a 24-year old who has proven he’s capable of being a top outfielder in the MLB, and 3) one more prospect who has the possibility of being a slugger in the big leagues, would be four key pieces when it comes to building up the future of your ball club. I am certainly glad the Marlins shot down a deal like this, because while having Stanton for a little over three years would be nice, you definitely don’t want to give up this much of a haul.

So what do you all think? The trade isn’t going to happen, and we aren’t all that sure it’s an accurate trade rumor, but as I said earlier, it’s fun to analyze a big-time trade like this and breakdown the talent that each team would have been getting in return. Should the Pirates have made this much of a push to get Stanton, or should they have played it safe and stayed still at the deadline? You know my take on this trade, now I want to hear yours.

Update: It appears that the trade rumor was not accurate after all, but as I said numerous times, it still doesn’t hurt to analyze it.