While it doesn’t directly involve the Cubs, the latest updates on Giancarlo Stanton’s situation certainly factor in the NL Central race. FanRag’s Jon Heyman has offered further confirmation of what we’ve been hearing for weeks, which is that the Marlins slugger would very much prefer not to play in St. Louis.
One person said he “didn’t see any way” he’d accept the Cardinals but added the disqualifier that he can’t say he knows for sure. Another opined that he’d “100 percent” take the Giants over the Cardinals if that’s the choice, and yet another suggested the Midwest, behind the most preferred West Coast and East Coast, is his “last choice.”
You know ol’ Jeets is feeling worse about this than when he busted his mug crashing into those seats or when he realized how bad his overall defensive ratings really were. In all seriousness, though, you do have to feel bad for Derek Jeter in this situation. After spending the entirety of his brief ownership tenure firing everyone in the organization, he can’t manage to find a way to get rid of $285 million dollars and the player set to earn it.
The Marlins would love nothing more than to send Stanton to St. Louis, a team possessed of a great wealth of young pitching talent. But there’s this thing called leverage, and Marlins execs have been so clumsily obvious in their machinations that they have almost none of it.. They had little to begin with, but literally everyone knows that they’re trying to trim at least $25 million in payroll. And Stanton’s got a massive deal with a full no-trade clause.
In an attempt to turn the tables back in their favor, the Marlins apparently presented Stanton with an ultimatum of sorts. Accept a trade, they told him, or you’ll stay here and we’ll trade other players. Like, duh. I wasn’t there for the conversation, but I’m going to share what I’m guessing was said.
“Dammit, face, if you don’t do what we want, we’re going to cut off our nose. Seriously, we mean it.”
It’s like Jeter and Co. are playing a game of chicken they really have no way of winning. They’re basically Ren McCormack, except without getting their shoelace fortuitously snagged on their tractor’s clutch. Which is sweet, sweet irony when we’re talking about a man who supposedly stepped up under pressure during his playing career.
All details aside, the main takeaway here is that Stanton doesn’t want to play for the Cardinals. Which means the Cubs won’t have to see him 19 times a year for the next decade. And also that he doesn’t want to play for the Cardinals. Or in St. Louis.