Stanton Turns Down Cardinals, Team Moves On

photo: Giancarlo Stanton (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Giancarlo Stanton (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images)

St. Louis Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt, Jr., and President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak issued the following statements on the club’s potential acquisition of Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton:

“We had an agreement to acquire Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, subject to him waiving his no-trade clause. We have been notified that he will not waive his no-trade clause to come to St. Louis.  While we are disappointed in his decision, we will continue to make every effort to improve our club for the upcoming season,” said DeWitt.

“Unfortunately we were not able to convince Stanton to waive his no-trade clause and join the Cardinals. We felt this was a great landing spot for him, but it was not meant to be,” said Mozeliak.

Brian Walton’s take

The news was not surprising, given the twists and turns of the saga, with frequent updates via social media. Still, it is natural for Cardinals fans to be disappointed their team lost out on acquiring the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, a slugger who swatted 59 long balls in 2017.

Both the Cardinals and Giants reportedly had trades agreed to with Miami, which then enabled both ownership/management groups to meet with Stanton and his representatives.  With full no-trade rights in his contract, Stanton has control over where/if he goes, and took the better part of a week following their meeting to inform the Cardinals they are out of consideration. (Update: Later Friday, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported the Giants were also informed their trade was rejected by Stanton, as well.)

According to rumors Thursday night, teams to which Stanton is willing to accept a trade are the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs and Astros. It is not known if any of these clubs will come up with offers that would be acceptable to the cost-cutting Marlins. (Update: Saturday morning reports confirmed that Miami sent Stanton to the Yankees, less than 24 hours after rejecting St. Louis.)

Clearly the inclusion of a Midwest team, Chicago, rules out rumors of geographic presence driving Stanton’s decision. The most obvious common thread among the chosen four are 90-plus win, playoff campaigns in 2017. St. Louis has to hope there is nothing more to Stanton’s decision-making than that.

The Cardinals offered over $300 million between contract liability and prospect value in the trade, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. The club also obviously came up with a combination of specific players that would have satisfied Miami, not that any of this likely mattered in the least to the outfielder.

With the Winter Meetings ahead and most free agents still undecided where to sign, the Cardinals have plenty of time to execute whatever their “Plan B” to improve the offense is, whether trades, free agency or a combination of the two.

No one can honestly fault St. Louis’ attempt to woo Stanton, but that ultimately unsatisfying chapter in team history is now officially closed.

For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at thecardinalnation@gmail.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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