Sunday Discussion: At What Price Stanton?

Stanton rounding the bases at Fenway. This could be habitual. - Winslow Townson

Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would?'

Giancarlo Stanton has hit 93 home runs in his three years in the big leagues. He's slugged .553 over those three years, and as we've all observed, power tends to peak much later in a ballplayer's career. It's likely that his power will improve as he develops a better batting eye and learns to really square up the ball. This is the point where we mention that Stanton turned 23 four months ago. For perspective, this makes Stanton less than a year older than three of the top four prospects in the Red Sox system, each of whom is considered at least a year away from being major-league ready. He's the perfect blend of youth and proven performance.

All the more important, he's a right-handed slugger with terrifying pull power. Scoreboard-shattering pull power. The sort of power that would fit beautifully at a park with a short left field. (Seriously, look at that image. It's downright obscene.) Most important of all, he's about to enter his first year of arbitration eligibility. This means that at the end of the season, he's going to get paid something approximating what he's actually worth. As we're well aware, paying players what they're worth is not a part of Jeffrey Loria's operating procedure. This means that very soon, Miami's going to be looking to unload Stanton, the better to enjoy their taxpayer-defrauded profits.

Every team in baseball would love to have Stanton. He's arguably the best pure power hitter in the game, and he's only going to get better. And yet the Red Sox just seem perfect for him. The short porch in left, the constant intensity, the endless revenue that could sign him for a decade... So the question becomes, what price should the Sox be willing to pay? Talking to a co-worker this week, he expressed a willingness to give up anyone in the system for Stanton. I admit that I'm wholly irrational in my desire to see Stanton on the team, but the thought of sending both Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley out of town gave me pause. Then again, prospects are prospects, and Stanton's the real thing.

So, on this lovely Sunday, I'll give it to you guys. Who would you be willing to part with for Stanton? Along those same lines, assuming a trade, what sort of contract would you give the big slugger once he arrived? Buy out his arb years and wait, or have a ten-year deal waiting the moment the commissioner signed off? It's spring, the time of dreams. Put together your best Stanton deal, and hopefully Ben Cherington will get bored, read them, and start to speculate.

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