Giancarlo Stanton is pissed off. And why wouldn't he? A rising star that was part of the new Miami Marlins, he finds himself surrounded by a bunch of rookies. This is a demoralizing blow to the budding superstar. But, by making the major league minimum on a frugal Marlins team, Stanton is not slated to go anywhere. But - maybe the Phillies can find a way.
The Marlins are still reportedly trying to dump salary. Stanton could help them do that. The only salaries left on the books of any note are righthanded starter Ricky Nolasco at $11.5 million and utility man and Phillies pinch-hitting record holder Greg Dobbs at $1.5 million. So, that represents $13 million that the Marlins would like to dump. The trade would begin with the Phillies taking that salary.
Nolasco is pretty overpaid. Turning 30 years old next month, Nolasco was 12-13 with a 4.48 ERA. The ERA output is very consistent with his lifetime 4.49 ERA. So, he is a .500 pitcher with a high ERA. The entire National League's ERA in 2012 was 3.94, so Nolasco was nothing special. If the Phillies picked up Nolasco, they would be basically getting one more year of Joe Blanton, but thinner. The good news is that it is only one season.
Dobbs is Laynce Nix who could play any of Nix's positions better. Dobbs hit a very respectable .275 and then .285 for the Marlins in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and played right field, left field, third base, and first base. Phillies fans generally prefer to boo Dobbs for hitting .196 in 2010 instead of praise him for setting the Phillies all-time pinch hit record en route to winning a World Series in 2008. He can help the Phillies, whether Phillies fans choose to keep their irrational venom or not.
So then the question is, what would the Phillies need to send to the Marlins? Simply taking salary will not do the trick. The Phillies will have to treat the incoming $13 million as going towards right field next year. That number could rise another $1.35 million if they end up eating Laynce Nix's contract to make it happen. It could beat paying $20+ million for a free agent like Josh Hamilton.
The Marlins would need to replace Stanton's bat in the outfield. Domonic Brown would likely have to be part of the package. Once an untouchable prospect, I think that Phillies fans have come to realize that he may not be the total package after all. But, he's a nice player with some skills that could help the Marlins.
Second: Darin Ruf. The Marlins would be losing power; they'll need to take some power back. The Marlins have no first baseman for next year as they traded away 2012 Opening Day starting first baseman Gaby Sanchez to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They acquired Carlos Lee during the season, but Lee is a free agent. Logan Morrison saw some time at first base but is rumored to be a potential dump. Ruf could return to his natural position of first base and could help the Marlins out.
Third: a pitcher for right now who costs little. That could be Vance Worley; it could be Tyler Cloyd. The Marlins might be looking for filler for another year while some of their new horde of prospects develop. They could prefer Cloyd because he's not headed to free agency for a long, long time. They could prefer Worley because he has a little bit of a track record so far.
Fourth and finally: one of the Phillies' top pitching prospects. The Phillies would need to part with a Jonathan Pettibone, Trevor May, Brody Colvin, or Jessie Biddle. The Phillies simply have no position player with talent in relation to these four. Nick Leyva said after the Juan Samuel trade that brought back Lenny Dykstra, "You gotta trade good guys to get good guys". Tis true.
So, there you have it. It would take a lot to happen, but it is not totally out of the range of possibility. A better question could be, given the high cost, would you want it to happen? All that said, another team with better prospects could do the same thing. And just maybe it will happen.