ORLANDO, Fla. — From the sound of things in sunny Florida, it might be time to rain on the Red Sox’ offseason parade. At least when it comes to the biggest name on everyone’s mind at this year’s general managers meetings.
Don’t expect Giancarlo Stanton to end up at Fenway Park next season.
While the Red Sox have been one of the teams most often linked to the massive Marlins slugger, there are too many roadblocks to consider them favorites for such a blockbuster trade.
One of those barriers is Stanton’s contract. Not only the $295 million he’s owed the next 10 years, but also the full no-trade clause that gives the right fielder total control of his ultimate destination.
A baseball source said yesterday that he’s been told Stanton will not accept a trade to either the Red Sox or the Cardinals, another team linked early and often in trade rumors. Perhaps there’s some flexibility in that stance, but Stanton’s preference is a factor.
As is the Red Sox’ ability to make such a deal. Trading for Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, Drew Pomeranz and Tyler Thornburg has left the minor league system relatively bare, and their best remaining trade chips are Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi, two players the ballclub would like to keep in the lineup.
“We have to be careful at some point,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “We’ve traded a lot of young guys. We’re trying to rebuild our system a little bit at the same time the last couple of years with our draft picks. I think we’ve started that process pretty well. We do have some guys that are close. … But you have to be careful in that regard, and I do think that we have a lot of good players already, that are really good, that you’re trying to supplement or complement and find the right guys. I’m not really looking to trade a bunch of young guys. Now, could we? Perhaps. Again, I can’t tell you that we won’t.”
Of course he can’t. Dombrowski can’t say much this time of year. He acknowledged only that he’s met with several agents and multiple teams, getting a sense of both the trade and free agent markets. New manager Alex Cora sat in on some of those meetings, adding his two cents to the possibilities and opportunities.
Dombrowski knows he needs a bat, and everyone knows the Marlins need to dump salary. That’s why Stanton-to-Boston rumors felt so juicy in the first place. But without need to avoid the luxury tax, the Red Sox are better…