Why would the Marlins even consider moving one of the game’s brightest young stars? While they entered the day sitting second in the NL East, Miami is 13.5 games behind the division leading Washington Nationals and eight games out of a playoff spot. Their 58-61 record shows they aren’t a good team, they merely play in a division where only one decent team resides.
Dealing Stanton would help the Marlins restock a farm system that ESPN’s Keith Law rated 29th in baseball prior to this season. Outfielder Christian Yelich is the only position player 25 years old or younger on the major league roster. A team that isn’t likely to contend for at least a couple more years needs to find more young talent to build around Yelich.
The Marlins are also in the process of being sold to a group that includes Derek Jeter. Shedding Stanton’s enormous salary would allow the new owners to be more flexible in the direction they steer the franchise.
The Red Sox have deeper pockets than the small-market Marlins, but that doesn’t mean they turn a blind eye toward increasing payroll. Boston has been cautious of the harsh luxury tax penalties introduced in the new collective bargaining agreement. Paying the remainder of the $14.5 million Stanton is owed for this season could push them over that ledge.