Even if they could clear Ramirez from the payroll, acquiring Stanton may still be a pipe dream. He’s owed a staggering amount of money through his age 38 season. While a move to the AL where he can serve as a designated hitter could prolong his career, it’s difficult to project the down slope of any player’s career that far in advance. There’s tremendous risk involved in taking on that commitment, especially for a hitter who has played in at least 145 games only twice in eight seasons.
Not to mention the effect that Stanton’s contract could have on the future of the young core of this team. Those emerging stars will need to be paid eventually. While Ramirez’ contract expires at an ideal time from that perspective, clogging the payroll with Stanton’s contract makes re-signing their own talent complicated. We have to assume the Red Sox would not deal for Stanton if it might prohibit their chances to afford Mookie Betts when he hits free agency in 2021. What if Stanton’s salary, combined with a new deal for Betts, means they can’t afford Xander Bogaerts or Andrew Benintendi?
It’s easy to dream about Stanton swatting home runs at Fenway wearing a Red Sox uniform, yet we can’t forget about the cost. The haul of prospects it would take to pry him out of Miami, the luxury tax penalties and the potential loss of homegrown talent down the line. All of these are potential costs that have to be weighed in any decision to trade for Stanton. Which is why we shouldn’t’ count on it actually happening.