Let’s begin by paying tribute to Giancarlo Stanton by doing what he typically does, by hitting a juicy, belt-high fastball 400-plus feet.
Every team in baseball would want this guy, including the Marlins – if they could pay him in live chickens or a similar alternate form of currency.
Any bare-bones decision to add Stanton requires the brain power of a rosin bag, a hitter of his prowess welcomed even on the ’27 Yankees, whose regular right fielder was none other than Babe Ruth.
Who couldn’t use 59 homers, 132 RBI and a .631 slugging percentage? Who wouldn’t want the reigning National League MVP?
Of course, there’s nothing bare about the bones involved in acquiring Stanton, who has 10 years and $295 million remaining on a contract that could financially cripple Vermont.
No, this decision requires a tiny bit of brain power, which makes it the perfect topic to be discussed in this space.
Stanton is a local, a product of Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks. He grew up a Dodgers fan, the overwhelming assumption being that he now wants to be a Dodgers player.
He has a full no-trade clause, giving him the final call on any deal, Stanton’s power not limited to the batter’s box. This has led to more speculation that he’ll simply force his way into Dave Roberts’ lineup.
On Thursday, he met with officials from the hated Giants, a development that prompted panicked cries that the Dodgers absolutely have to trade for Stanton, if for no other reason than to prevent him from going to San Francisco.
Ah, folks, this isn’t putting in a waiver-wire claim on a situational lefty in mid-August to block the intended move of a rival.
This is committing a decade and enough money to annually bankroll a decent bullpen to a player who has appeared in more than 145 games only once – last season – since the start of 2012.
The Dodgers have been penalized by the luxury tax for five consecutive years. Thanks to a few expiring contracts, they’re one year away from having increased financial flexibility, the exact sort of thing coveted by the team’s front office.
Under Andrew Friedman’s regime, the Dodgers have been impressively reluctant to do a full Arte Moreno, to splurge spectacularly – and regrettably – on any one player.
All of which suggests Stanton’s potentially debilitating contract doesn’t fit into the Dodgers’ plans, no matter how perfectly his potentially exhilarating bat might fit into their order.
Then again, he can opt out after…