Spitballin’ over a late lunch. (Which is kinda gross.)
I’m thinking about a guy who, in his last two games, has hit a fair ball 404 feet and over the fence in one, and a fair ball to the opposite field and over the fence in the other, both at more than 100 mph.
And also about Giancarlo Stanton.
This is not going to happen, but this is baseball, which is a talking sport and a spitballin’ sport, and it both provides and encourages distraction on a regular basis.
November Something, 2017: Texas trades Shin-Soo Choo, Rougned Odor, and Yanio Perez to the Jeters for Giancarlo Stanton
Now, on paper, it’s a woefully inadequate package of talent for the game’s most prodigious power hitter.
And on the other, it’s a horribly encumbering payroll hit, particularly when no cash changes hands.
A huge gut check on both sides.
For the Marlins — who, according to Bob Nightengale (USA Today), have been contacted recently by several teams, including the Rangers, expressing interest in the 27-year-old, and who might be open this winter to trading him — it would remove a 10-year, $295 million contract from the club’s books, which in another section reportedly indicates a $90 million debt in 2017 alone.
Nightengale suggests Miami might have to subsidize at least $75 million of Stanton’s contract in order to move him.
Another way to accomplish that: Take on the $63 million owed to Choo the next three years, and Odor’s accelerating salaries.
For the Rangers, you add the game’s most dangerous right-handed power bat to a lineup that tilts heavily to the left — with Willie Calhoun and perhaps Ronald Guzman on the way to pile on even further — and in the process remove two players who hit from the left side.
Switch-hitting Jurickson Profar (.292/.385/.443 at Round Rock, with more walks  than strikeouts ) becomes the favorite to assume second base.
Freeing up DH makes other things easier going forward.
By removing what’s owed to Choo in 2018–2020 and to Odor in 2018–2023, this is what Stanton would effectively cost Texas:
2018 age 28 $2,000,000
2019 29 <$2,500,000>
2020 30 <$4,000,000>
2021 31 $17,000,000
2022 32 $17,000,000
2023 33 $18,500,000 (or $29M, if Odor were still here and bought out)
2024 34 $32,000,000
2025 35 $32,000,000
2026 36 $29,000,000
2027 37 $25,000,000
2028 38 $25,000,000 (or $10M, if Stanton were bought out)
All told, 11 years at, effectively, $191 million (or 10 at $176 million) under this trade scenario. That’s $17.3 million a year, or $17.6 million a year if bought out of that age 38 season.
Yes, Stanton may opt out after 2020. He’d be giving up seven years and a guaranteed $218 million ($31.1 million AAV) for what’s behind Door Number 2.
And if that happens, you bid heavily to keep the guy, or spend the money somewhere else.
And yes, that’s a big payroll jump for the Rangers in 2021. They’ll be in a new ballpark by then and presumably more comfortable absorbing it.
We’re talking about Giancarlo Stanton.
In a lineup next to Joey Gallo.
I love Odor. I love him in spite of the fact that, according to High Heat Stats, he’s recorded the most outs at the plate in baseball this year despite having only the 35th-most plate appearances. He’s had a really tough year with his plate approach and his reliability in the field, but he’s 23 and I have confidence in the idea that there’s a better player in there. A much better player.
I am also not giving up on the idea that Jurickson Profar can be a winning piece on a contending team. (I don’t think we see Calhoun back in the infield.)
But even if second base becomes a question mark going forward, it would be foolish to think you could add Stanton without taking a Major League hit somewhere else.
As for Choo, the contract is bad but the player isn’t. He’s a DH now, but he’s a base-reacher on a team short on those. The club would miss his production. But it would survive his loss.
The Marlins, rather than chipping in $75 million, would get that level of salary relief in the form of taking Choo and Odor on, and that’s two players who can help. I realize Dee Gordon is now a second baseman and that it might mean Odor becomes a third baseman, and that Choo in right field wouldn’t be ideal, but in an outfield that boasts two center field-level defenders in Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, Miami could theoretically narrow Choo’s territory with alignment options the Rangers just don’t have.
Perez is a Cuban who just turned 22. He’s a corner outfielder/corner infielder and he hits. In this, his first season since signing stateside, he’s hit .322/.392/.533 in Low A and .256/.312/.374 in High A. Someone Miami can dream on a bit.
Really, this whole scenario is something to dream on, at best. Even though Derek Jeter’s organization probably knows it has to trade Stanton, anything short of a blow-‘em-away proposal probably won’t get far. Someone will eventually blow them away, but until then these types of crystal ball drills, especially upstairs in Miami, are just exercises in kicking the can.
My distraction time is up. Back to work.