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The Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners recently discussed a trade proposal that would have sent slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to Seattle for a package of prospects.
Fox Sports reported Wednesday that the two teams had only talked about a deal, and did not specify what the Marlins would receive in return for Stanton. According to Fox Sports, the deal is not likely to actually happen.
Last week, Marlins assistant general manager Dan Jennings told baseball insiders Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette on their Sirius-XM show "Front Office" that although the team is not actively shopping Stanton, it will listen to any offer for the young star.
"I know in the 10 years I’ve been here that's our M.O.," Jennings told Bowden and Duquette. "We've never not listened to a deal on any player. Sometimes I chuckle when I hear people say, ‘This guy’s untouchable,' and 'That guy's untouchable.' You know what? They may be untouchable until someone either overwhelms you or you get a package back that makes such a significant improvement on your club going forward. So we’ve always been willing to listen."
The Marlins' recent history is littered with players who may have seemed untouchable, but eventually were traded for various reasons, including Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, and Josh Johnson.
Stanton has quickly blossomed into one of the top power hitters in the game. At age 23, he has already has 93 home runs and an All-Star selection to his name. Last season he led the National League in slugging percentage (.608) and at-bats per home run (12.1)
What makes Stanton all the more valuable is the fact that he is still on his rookie contract. The Marlins picked Stanton in the second round of the 2007 draft. Stanton will earn the major league minimum in 2013, then will have three years of salary arbitration before coming a free agent after the 2016 season.
So for the price of an untested rookie, a team could have one of the best hitters in baseball if they can pry him away from Miami. This is why the team will listen to any offer for Stanton. You never know when another executive will get too bold and offer more than Stanton's actual value (if that is even possible).
But trading Stanton at this point (even though his value may never be higher than it is right now) is a remote possibility. Few teams have the stomach to pay such a steep price in a trade, and the thing that makes Stanton such a valuable trade commodity (his contract) also makes him such a valuable player to the penny-pinching Marlins.
That won't stop the trade rumors regarding Stanton from flying though. Marlins fans have already suffered so much in the past year, now they have years of Stanton trade anxiety ahead of them.