The Chicago Cubs may be making a big splash this offseason, as the team is rumored to be pursuing Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins are having their traditional fire sale, and if Chicago could cash in, Stanton would be a major pickup for a team that lacks power in the lineup. Soriano was the only Cubs to belt over 16 homers, finishing the season with 32 dingers. The Boston Globe was the first to report the possibility, as the Red Sox, among other teams, are also actively shopping for the outfielder.
Stanton would bolster any outfield, given his .290 batting average and 37 home runs last season. But for an aging outfield that still has plenty of holes, the 23-year old would instantly become the No.3 or 4 hitter in the Chicago lineup. If Theo Epstein is able to pull of the move, a 1-2-3-4 order of Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney/Alfonso Soriano, Anthony Rizzo, and Stanton could certainly incite some fear in the NL Central.
Although the Marlins may be looking to hold on to Stanton as one of the few faces of their now dismantled franchise, it's hard to imagine that Stanton is not disgruntled over the trading spree which Miami has been undergoing over the past few months. Miami has shipped off stars like Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, and Josh Johnson, among others, since the summer.
The only question: what are the Marlins looking for? There are not many alluring trade options on the Major League roster aside from Castro and Rizzo, but it seems unlikely at this point the Cubs would ship either of their emerging stars. Still, there is plenty of talent in the farm system, and Chicago could put together an appealing package for the Marlins if they are in fact looking to unload Stanton.
Javier Baez, the 20-year old shortstop, would almost certainly need to be included in the deal. Widely regarded as the best prospect in the Cubs' system, it would be hard for Chicago to come away with Stanton without having to sacrifice Baez. Brett Jackson's miserable September performance may have hurt his trade value, but he has also been a highly-regarded talent in the minors over the past few seasons.
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