"My big fish must be somewhere."--- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
These beasts of the ocean can weight upwards of 1,000 pounds and it can take quite the fight to get them into a boat. Fishing for these animals can take a lot of time and patience. It also takes the right tools and skills to reel in one of these giant fish.
Over the weekend, a story came out in the Boston Globe that discussed the possibility of the Twins making a play for Giancarlo Stanton, the 23-year old slugging outfielder from the Miami Marlins. The Twins farm system has plenty of depth at multiple levels and they have the resources to trade away a few prospects to land the budding superstar.
The article does go on to say, "The Red Sox might be in a better position than the Twins because the Twins have to rely on their top players to come up and man several positions." One baseball executive said, "The Red Sox have veteran players so their need to keep their best guys isn't as severe. So if they can trade them off for a young player like Stanton, they wouldn't have to fear about thinning out as a result."
Stanton is in the middle of his fourth MLB season and his 162 game average for home runs is 39. For his career, he is a .265/.350/.536 hitter and he has hit over 30 home runs in each of the last two seasons. During the 2013 season, Stanton has career lows in batting average and slugging percentage. This could be a good chance for the Twins to buy low on a player that is under team control for multiple seasons.
At the trade deadline, there was plenty of talk about Stanton being dealt from a struggling Marlins ballclub. Word around baseball was the Marlins were turning down any suitors that came calling for Mr. Stanton. Miami doesn't have to rush to move him because he is still pre-arbitration eligible. He will be arbitration eligible in 2014 and the earliest he could reach free agency is 2017.
There are plenty of resources in the Twins system that could land them a top player like Stanton. Byron Buxton is considered by many to be the top prospect in all of baseball. Third baseman Miguel Sano might be the best power hitter to come through the minor leagues since Stanton. The article also mentions other young players like Kyle Gibson, Alex Meyer, Eddie Rosario, Travis Harrison, and Daniel Santana.
The Twins organization has invested over $9 million in signing bonuses to Buxton and Sano. One would think that these players would be untouchable but it could take a player of their caliber to make this deal happen. It's hard to know which player the Twins would be more willing to trade. Most likely both players are untouchable because they are part of the long-term rebuilding process for the organization.
Could the Twins put together a package of players that doesn't include Buxton or Sano and still get a deal done?
It seems likely that the Marlins would want some young pitching in return for Stanton. The Twins made moves last offseason to add some depth to the starting pitchers in their system. Meyer and Trevor May have done decently since coming to the organization but it might be a step backwards to include them in another offseason trade.
Recent draft picks like Kohl Stewart and Jose Berrios are both young and they have plenty of upside. Minnesota's starting pitching has been one of the biggest issues in recent years. Flaws with the pitching staff could be the main reason for back-to-back 90 loss seasons. It seems more likely for the Twins to deal away from their minor league positional player depth than from their up-and-coming starting pitchers.
What would it take to get Stanton?
It sounds like the Marlins would have to be overwhelmed to even consider dealing him. If the Twins would be willing to part with Sano and a couple other position players, the deal could get done. That still might not be enough for Miami and the Twins are in the middle of a rebuild. Stanton might be worth five extra wins a season but that might not be enough to turn the franchise around. Especially since the Twins have so many holes at different positions.
If the Marlins are willing to part with Stanton, the Twins have the goods to get the deal done. The question remains... Would the Twins be willing to thin out their system for a player like Stanton even if he is the biggest fish on the market?
Now it's your turn to take on the role of Twins GM Terry Ryan. If you were sitting in his spot, what players would you consider dealing for Stanton? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.