One idea in particular has caught my attention.
If the Miami Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Yasiel Puig, it would be incredibly foolish–for the Dodgers. Though Los Angeles still has an outside shot to take the NL West, Miami might as well pack it in for 2013.
Stanton would definitely help the Dodgers, but how much (more than Puig) is debatable.
The Marlins have next to no one tempting the residents of its city to take in a game. Outside of Stanton, count rookies Jose Fernandez and Marcell Ozuna as the only other upper-echelon talent on the team; both of which have a good shot at NL Rookie of the Year . Though other than big fans of baseball and the loyal Marlins’ constituents, Fernandez and Ozuna aren’t what you’d consider familiar Major League Baseball faces–not even Stanton’s.
Miami has lost at least 90 games in the last two seasons and 2013 looks to be a continuation of that streak. Giving up a player like Stanton probably won’t make that much of a difference. Whats more, Stanton is barely producing above the level of a replacement player. There is no denying, however, the talent Stanton possess–particularly his slugging ability. He hits a home run on average once in every four games and has a career .278 ISO.
The problem with Stanton is that he’s an injury risk. The way things have been going for the Dodgers, a potentially fragile hitter–no matter how high his ceiling might be–is an awful big gamble.
The lure of bringing a player of Stanton’s caliber to Los Angeles might be too much to ignore for the Dodger brass. Given their recent splurges, it’s not above the realm of possibility.
Puig has only 17 professional baseball games under his belt and to say it’s been an eventful start to his career would be an understatement. Puig is clearly a special player who competes with a fire only Bryce Harper seems tempted to catch. And to be honest, at this point it might be–on paper–an even swap but obviously it’s not that simple.
Puig is making Dodger fans excited about a season that once shown so much promise–he might be the most popular man in southern California right now. Miami would welcome him with open arms and he’d likely be bigger there than he is in L.A.
Imagine an outfield of Puig, Ozuna and (eventually) Yelich beyond 2013 in south Florida. No matter because Miami’s problems go far beyond the outfield and they’d have to ask for more than just Puig.
The amount of time and money the Dodgers have invested in scouting Puig, trading him at this juncture would make no sense. He’s looking like he could become one of the best players in baseball, but we as fans have to keep this in perspective–it’s just 17 games.
Likewise, Stanton (who is just a year older than Puig) is a guy who can change a game with the swing of his bat. Furthermore, he’s a proven ballplayer–his career .381 wOBA and 11.5 WAR speak for themselves. If Miami has any hopes to turn its franchise back into a winner, you want to keep a sure thing (or someone close to that) on your team.
The Dodgers have more wiggle room in that regard. They have a dozen or so guys who’ve proven in their career that they are capable of carrying their team for a period of time–unfortunately it doesn’t look like their navigator knows where he’s going right now.
It’s a fun idea, but not realistic for either organization. The Marlins should bide their time and let their young talent develop and the Dodgers have the assets to make other moves if necessarily.