Apr 22, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Dreaming up a blockbuster: Stanton to the Red Sox

Last August I wrote a post regarding the Red Sox potentially trading for Giancarlo Stanton. In that post I argued that the Red Sox shouldn’t overpay for the young slugger from the Miami Marlins.

Apr 5, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) at bat against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In a sense, I’m still against giving up too much. But what if the Sox were to able acquire one or two more blossoming young players along with Stanton? What if one of those players happened to be a young pitcher on the fast track to ace status? And what if the Miami-bound package did NOT include Xander Bogaerts or blossoming phenom Mookie Betts?

Though this is just a pipe dream trade scenario, I’ll try to keep it as realistic as possible (unlike a naive Ryan Roberts, Daniel Nava, and Chris Capuano for Stanton trade proposal). With that being said I present to you my trade proposal:

Miami-bound from Boston
LHP Henry Owens, RHP Allen Webster, OF Bryce Brentz, OF Jackie Bradley Jr., 3B Garin Cecchini, C Blake Swihart, 2B Sean Coyle, 1B/OF Mike Carp

Boston-bound from Miami
OF Giancarlo Stanton, RHP Jose Fernandez, one of OF Christian Yelich or OF Marcell Ozuna

Player by player breakdown

LHP Henry Owens- The top pitching prospect in the Boston farm system. Ranked as Boston’s second-best prospect and 27th overall according to MLB.com. Ranked third according to soxprospects.com. Currently pitching in Double-A Portland where he is 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA, 1.060 WHIP, and 25 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched. Projects as a potential top of the rotation starter. Likely to be promoted to Triple A later in 2014 and could debut at some point in 2015.

RHP Allen Webster- MLB.com has him ranked as the 44th best prospect and Boston’s third best overall. Soxprospects.com has him as the organization’s seventh best prospect. Currently pitching in Triple-A Pawtucket where he is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.450 WHIP, and 11 strikeouts (and 12 walks) in 20 innings. The fact that Webster has some Major League experience is what keeps him ranked ahead of fellow RHP prospects Anthony Ranaudo and Matt Barnes. However, in the limited opportunities he’s had in the majors, Webster has yet to fulfill his promise. Perhaps a change of scenery would be helpful.

OF Bryce Brentz- Ranked as Boston’s 16th best prospect according to MLB.com and 19th according to soxprospects.com. Currently hitting .227/.329/.364/.693 (.263/.349/.395/.744 in his last 10 games) with two home runs for Triple-A Pawtucket. A rare case of the prospect being younger than the established player he’s being traded for. Brentz is off to a somewhat slow start. Showing an encouraging sign of improved plate discipline with 10 walks (half of his total from last season). Should put up above average power numbers in the majors. Has a plus throwing arm. Should make his Major League debut at some point this season.

OF Jackie Bradley Jr.- No longer considered a prospect according to MLB.com. Ranked as the organization’s second best prospect according to soxprospects.com. Currently hitting .222/.333/.296/.629 as the big club’s primary center fielder. In the long-term, Bradley could emerge as a guy who hits first or second in the batting order thanks to his ability to draw walks. Should also hit for a decent average. Excellent defender who should win his share of Gold Gloves. Would only include in a trade if another center fielder is included in a return.

Garin Cecchini- Ranked as the organization’s fifth best prospect and 55th best overall according to MLB.com. Soxprospects.com has Cecchini ranked fourth. Currently hitting .317/.377/.397/.774 for Triple A Pawtucket. Very disciplined plate approach (.415 career OBP in the minors). Though his power has yet to fully develop, Cecchini has the potential to consistently reach double figures in homers. He has a power-hitter’s frame and is a natural hitter. Still raw defensively (hence the reason he’s not with the big club right now). Should be an average defender at third, but is athletic enough to also play first base and corner outfield.

Blake Swihart- Fourth and 59th according to MLB.com and fifth according to soxprospects.com. The switch-hitter is currently hitting .362/.375/ .532/.907 for Double A Portland. Defensive tools behind the plate rank average-to-plus. Likely to earn a mid or late season promotion to Triple A and could make his major league debut in mid to late 2015. Could eventually move off the catcher’s position. The presence of Christian Vazquez could make Swihart expendable for the right price.

2B Sean Coyle- Ranked as the organization’s 21st best prospect according to soxprospects.com. Currently hitting .304/.360/.457/.817 with two home runs for Double A Portland. Prospect stock took a hit thanks to an injury-plagued 2013 season where he still managed to hit 16 home runs in 60 games. Though he’s no further ahead in upper level experience as counterpart Mookie Betts, Coyle has an additional year of experience in the Boston farm system. Average power potential and solid defensive tools. Is also splitting time at third base.

1B/OF Mike Carp- The “throw-in” of this trade package. At the very least, Carp provides quality insurance off the bench as a reserve 1B/OF and pinch-hitter. Could overtake the starting first base job if traded to the Marlins.

Boston-bound from Miami

OF Giancarlo Stanton- Currently hitting .284/.363/.568/.931 and leading the NL with six home runs. If acquired by Boston, Stanton should benefit greatly from playing his home games at Fenway Park. Would be a wise move to have him play left field instead of right to preserve his knees. Could also move to 1B/DH down the road as well. Making $6.5 million this year and will be eligible for free agency after 2016. An extension would be a likely goal for Boston management if they were to acquire Stanton.

RHP Jose Fernandez- Currently 2-1 with a 2.11 ERA, 1.099 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts in 23.2 innings. Won’t be arbitration eligible until after 2015 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after 2018. Will take a very overwhelming trade package to pry the young ace from Miami.

OF Christian Yelich or OF Marcell Ozuna- Yelich is currently hitting .338/.407/.429/.836 in the leadoff spot. Currently playing left field but has some experience in center field. Ozuna is currently hitting .329/.383/.507/.890 as the number two hitter and playing center field. Yelich has a better approach and more speed but Ozuna has more power. Would be interesting to see who the Sox would acquire. If it’s Yelich, there’s a good chance Mookie Betts learns to play right field. If it’s Ozuna, perhaps Betts learns to play center field with Ozuna moving over to right field in the coming seasons. Both players are scheduled to reach free agency after 2019.

Final analysis

This is probably the best opportunity for Miami to get a maximum return for Stanton. They really need help all over the field and the Red Sox are the most logical trade partner. Boston has both a rich farm system and the financial resources to keep Stanton in the long-term. The longer they wait, the less the return. I would be floored with Fernandez being included because it seems so unlikely. Would be very surprised to see Bradley dealt unless a center fielder is coming with Stanton. This is definitely an avenue the Red Sox should consider if the offense doesn’t start becoming more consistent.

I don’t necessarily see this trade package becoming a reality, but I do see Stanton coming to Boston at some point. That is unless Marlins’ management attempts to do something they rarely do: Lock up a star player to a long-term extension.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Giancarlo Stanton Jackie Bradley

  • Conor Duffy

    I could see that package working with Stanton and maybe Ozuna, but realistically there’s no combination of prospects in the Red Sox system that could net Stanton, Fernandez, and Yelich/Ozuna.

    • John Fahrer

      I don’t see Miami parting with Fernandez at this point either. Wouldn’t be a deal breaker though. But I’d probably take one of Cecchini or Swihart out of the package if that would be the case.

      • Kyleg182

        I’d say the sox should hold on Cecchini and ship off MIddlebrooks and then Stanton would look a lot more likely. JBJ, Middlebrooks and Webster/Carp for him and Ozuna… Keep Owens, Swihart and others, too much promise to give up.

        • Sean Sylver

          “Too much promise” would be a tough justification for the Marlins to accept when they’re parting with one of the best offensive talents in the league.

          • Kyleg182

            You’re right. I guess it’s just hard to wrap any head around the idea of a trade like this. Realistically I could see Stanton coming over for a good package, but I could never see him and Fernandez coming together. It’d be too much given up, they’re like the dual-faces of Miami.

          • John Fahrer

            I mentioned that I don’t see Fernandez getting traded. Just a dream scenario.

          • Kyleg182

            Of course, no discredit to you, I just wish it wasn’t a dream scenario haha. The sox would be 200% better with the two of them as additions.

        • John Fahrer

          If the trade doesn’t include Fernandez, I’d pull Swihart out of the deal, though I would prefer Vazquez defensively in the long-term (he’ll be our Yadier Molina). They could keep Cecchini and deal Middlebrooks. Just depends if you prefer high OBP or power. If Cecchini stays, he could move to the OF in a couple years while Bogaerts moves to 3B. If WMB stays, Bogaerts could move to LF when Marrero’s ready (with Stanton moving to 1B). Don’t see Cecchini staying at 3B given his defense is considered below average.

          If they don’t trade Bogaerts, Miami will likely want two of the other three in their top four. If they extend Lester and/or acquire Lee, Owens is expendable.

          • Kyleg182

            I’ve been hoping the Lee trade would go through for the past few years it’s been rumored. Him, Lester and Lackey would be an effective 1,2,3. Then all that would have to happen is see if Doubront can find his stride and Buchholz can get back to some sort of normality. Long ways away, but hopefully the Sox make some moves, can’t repeat this year with the way it’s been so far. But it’s only been about 20 games of the season so obviously they can still turn it around.

          • John Fahrer

            If they get Lee, I have a feeling Doubront would be one of the pieces used to acquire him. Maybe Doubront and Salem RHP Luis Diaz for Lee with the Phils eating half of what he’s owed for 2014 and the Sox taking all of his salary for 2015.

          • Kyleg182

            I could see that, Phils do need some more pitching, so trade off a big chip to get some smaller chips with potentially-good ceilings (i say “potentially” without the slightest bit of optimism for Doubront) and some salary relief.

  • Rick M

    Dallas fans are discussing trading the entire draft for Johnny Football. If Sox get Stanton I’d try to put in place a similar situation as with AGon.

    • John Fahrer

      Scenarario’s somewhat different between Stanton currently and Gonzo prior to 2012. Though both had very club-friendly salaries, Gonzo was going into his final season of his deal whereas Stanton has two more years of control beyond 2014. Stanton’s also 24 and Gonzo was 29.

  • Willy

    Just a gut feeling but I dont see Stanton being dealt until next year. I also cant imagine the Red Sox ever trading that many solid prospects at once. I would include Webster but not/never Owens. They could have Barnes or Ranaudo but not Owens.

    • PatFromFanIQ

      If the Sox get Fernandez in the deal, I’d give up Owens in a heartbeat. Fernandez is the best young pitcher in the game.

      • Willy

        He is a fine young pitcher BUT Left handed SP’s will always have more value then righties, we may be losing Lester, Doubront has never fully worked out and Trey Ball is years away, they need & want to have a solid Lefty in their arsenal. We dont necessarily need Fernandez if we show a little patience and wait for Barnes, Ranaudo and/or Workman. The Marlins have NO motivation to trade Fernandez, none & they would be idiots to do so. Stanton is a different story as he earns more each year through Arbitration, to the point that eventually theyll look to deal him.

        • John Fahrer

          Have a feeling they’ll find common ground with Lester at some point this season.

          • Willy

            If it goes over $20m per year, then I dont want him back. I know they want him back & he wants to stay but…

          • John Fahrer

            Might go a tad over $20 million annually but won’t eclipse $25 million. My guess is 5 years $110 million with a $20 million option for a sixth year.

        • John Fahrer

          What if The Marlins include their top overall prospect, LHP Andrew Heaney, in the deal?

          • Willy

            Hmmm, I can see why the Sox would want to make some of these deals. Stanton & a SP (a good to great one) would be perfect for the Sox, just what they need IMO But the Marlins would have little motivation to make this deal, at least in my eyes. Stanton by next years deadline I could see moved but unless they felt they were coming out on top, I dont know why they would entertain trading more than him. Their M.O. over the years is to trade 1. the veteran they signed as a F.A. & 2. trade the guy whose due a big pay-day. IE, it all revolves around money.

          • John Fahrer

            The longer the Marlins wait, the smaller a package they’ll receive.
            The Sox are te most idealistic trade partner given both the quality of the farm and the financial resources. Miami could wait a little while longer. But what if Stanton looks a little more like his 2013 self at the 2015 deadline?

            A package of Bradley, Swihart, Cecchini, Owens, Webster, Brentz, Coyle, and Carp for Stanton, Ozuna, and Heaney’s a winner for both sides. The fish get 5 top 100 prospects, 2 other prospects who would be in their top15, and a useful throw-in. Four of the seven could contribute immediately (Carp, Bradley, Webster, Brentz), one likely up later in the year (Cecchini), and two who’d be up next season.

            The opportunity to acquire three blossoming talents under 25 will be worth the high cost for the Sox. Heaney has an ace ceiling and could be up late in the season, Ozuna could hit 20-25 home runs at the top of the Sox order, and Stanton would endanger the Citgo sign.

          • Willy

            I agree John that that looks very attractive but that would be a massive trade & I just dont see Ben doing that. I could see Larry L trying to do something like that, making the big “splash” but not Ben so much. Ben is so slow in how he does things ( I wish I could explain this in better terms) that it would take him a year to complete this trade. IMHO I cant see Ben parting with Owens, Cecchini or Swihart, their a big part of the future plans/team.

          • John Fahrer

            We really haven’t seen previous examples of Ben having these kind of opportunities. Unless we count the Beckett deal he and Hoyer made back in 05-06.

            That slow and disciplined approach is definitely one to take in regards to the modern FA market and taking on the contract of a declining player. It’s not necessarily a bad one to take in regards to a guy like Stanton either. It could be a lot like the Lakers acquisition of Dwight Howard. Look how long they waited that out and how little they eventually had to pay in that deal.

    • John Fahrer

      It’ll come down to how much progress the offense makes. If they’re still inconsistent, especially in the OF, I’d pull the trigger.

      I’d also prefer to retain Owens and offer one of Ranaudo or Barnes instead. But what if they could swing a deal for Lee where they gave up very little and assume most of his remaining salary?

      • Willy

        Well you know how I feel about Lee but that’s alot of moves & Ben is 1 of the slowest GM’s in baseball, LOL, so as much as that would enticeme, I doubt we would see two complicated trades like that.

        • John Fahrer

          A Lee deal wouldn’t be complicated in terms of prospects (unless the Phillies eat 3/4 of the salary and Lee is pitching like the NL Cy Young favorite). The remaining money and Lee’s age are the primary concerns. Would hate to take on the bulk of that salary and see the guy come crashing down towards the end.

  • Kyleg182

    This is the most ridiculous trade concept i’ve ever read in my life. And I just openly weeped wishing it would happen.

  • Red Socks

    Jose Fernandez has been the best pitcher in baseball so far this year, and he’s 21 years old, there’s almost nothing you could offer that would come close to landing Stanton and Jose in the one deal. Let alone Yelich, who was a top 20 prospect, and some see as a future batting champion…