After news broke yesterday that the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays had agreed in principle to a deal that would send Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and others to Toronto in exchange for Yunel Escobar, an unconfirmed number of prospects and a few bags of baseballs, Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton tweeted that he was pissed off. Yesterday’s news now has people wondering whether he should seek a trade. If that happens, and if the powers that be in Miami are open to the idea, the Oakland Athletics should look into his services.
Oakland is always looking to improve their team while being cost-conscious, and Stanton would fit into that model. The A’s could trade for him and sign him to a four-year deal that would eat into Stanton’s first two years of arbitration eligibility (something they have done with their players many times), knowing that he would likely be gone before the contract expires, especially should the A’s plummet to the earth next season and find themselves needing to trade players away at the deadline. This would meet both Stanton’s and Oakland’s needs, and put Stanton on a roster that theoretically will contend again in 2013, something which would have to look mighty good to him right about now.
With Oakland’s recent acquisition of Chris Young, however, their outfield now features Young, Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Seth Smith when he isn’t DHing or pinch-hitting. So how would Stanton fit in? If teams are really interested in trading for Crisp as some stories suggest, then perhaps the A’s will flip whatever prospects they get in that deal to Miami in addition to, say, a Grant Green, whose once-bright future with the A’s now seems to be disappearing behind a logjam of talent in the outfield. This of course would relegate Smith to also-ran status on the team and could necessitate the A’s having to trade him as well, but they might keep him around in case one of these four gets injured so they can have a capable 4th outfielder/DH handy. Either way, Oakland would find a way to insert Stanton and his prolific power into the lineup every chance they got. Can you imagine Stanton and Cespedes mashing baseballs out of the Coliseum?
The likelihood of such a deal transpiring might seem remote on the surface at this point, but if Billy Beane—and once again, ownership in Miami—have taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected when it comes to wheeling and dealing. Beane may have already gotten on the phone with the folks in Miami to gauge their interest in a trade, knowing that an incredible opportunity is waiting for the A’s, so time will tell.