Report: Cardinals Covet Stanton, Feeling May Not Be Mutual

It appears that the Cardinals are sick and tired of the fact that their little brother grew up and started beating them up on a regular basis. Reports came out a few days ago that St. Louis was willing to part with one of their top pitching prospects — and they’ve got no shortage of those — in exchange for Giancarlo Stanton, and that they’d be talking to the Marlins about Christian Yelich as well. We’ve also heard that the Cards could target Josh Donaldson in a trade.

But as FanRag’s Jon Heyman wrote Thursday, the Cardinals’ affection for Miami’s statuesque slugger might go unrequited. Stanton hasn’t actually stated it publicly, but it’s believed that he’d prefer to play on one of the coasts. And unless we’re expanding the definition of “coast” to include the western bank of the Mississippi, I’m not sure St. Louis fits the bill.

Stanton has 10 years left on his deal and has a full no-trade clause, so he wields incredible leverage here. The Marlins are no doubt salivating over the ability to pick up young arms while simultaneously gutting their payroll, but they really don’t have much say in the matter if Stanton isn’t cool with it.

Philadelphia and San Francisco have been mentioned as potential suitors, which makes sense in terms of geography and willingness to spend. Except for the small matter of San Francisco already being in danger of exceeding the luxury tax threshold for the fourth straight season.

While the Giants could decide to absolutely blow through the cap, it’d be unwise to do so in light of the increasing penalties imposed by the current CBA. They could free up a lot of space by moving big-money pitchers like Jeff Samardzija and Mark Melancon, which is why the trade rumors likely surfaced in the first place. And getting Miami to eat some of Stanton’s salary would further ease the burden.

This information doesn’t explicitly impact the Cubs, though having Stanton in the NL Central for the next decade might not be too fun. More than anything, I put this out there because — as others have already stated elsewhere — it’d be kinda hilarious to see Stanton veto a trade to St. Louis. Well, for those of us who’re so irredeemably warped that we would take sadistic joy from such a development.

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