The first rule of any sports journalism is as follows: never make predictions. Last week, I wrote an article regarding potential trades that the San Francisco Giants could make in order to get 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the Bay Area. In it, I said that the Giants were one of the front-runners to land Stanton, and the deal would likely center around second baseman Joe Panik. However, Stanton declined to waive his no-trade clause to go to San Francisco. Instead, he is heading to the New York Yankees in exchange for their second baseman and some top prospects.
Stanton was the top priority for many teams this offseason ever since the Marlins organization said that they were willing to trade him. The Giants are in desperate need for both an outfielder and a powerful bat in the middle of the order, and Stanton fit the description of both roles. In his MVP winning 2017 campaign, Stanton slugged 59 home runs, the most homers hit in a season since Ryan Howard slugged 58 in 2006. Stanton also had a .281 batting average, the third highest of his career.
So what’s next for the Giants? They have two options. The first is to try to make another trade. However, with Stanton off the market, there aren’t many more options left on the trade block. They could try for Brewers outfielders Domingo Santana or Ryan Braun. Both players are cheaper options than Stanton, and the Giants would not have to trade Panik or top prospect Christian Arroyo to get either of them. Santana had a career year in 2017, batting .278 with 30 home runs. Braun has a no-trade clause, but he could be convinced to join San Francisco.
The other, more viable option is to hit the free agent market. There are two outfielders in this year’s free agent that could make a difference on a team. J.D. Martinez is by far the best option in the outfield, with every team in need of an outfielder going after him. The second best option is Royals centerfielder Lorenzo Cain. Cain has World Series experience and can change teams with the bat and the glove. For more details, I’ve already written a piece on the Giants’ offseason needs. Check it out here.
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