While there will be some who will continue to hold a grudge against Giancarlo Stanton–or the Cardinals front office, for not approving a trade to St. Louis, the slugger may have inadvertently done a solid for the team with the choice he did make.
First of all, by Stanton approving the trade to the Yankees, the Cardinals will not have to face the outfielder during the regular season. San Francisco would’ve been comparable to staying in Miami, but imagine if he would’ve approved a deal to the Chicago Cubs.
For the record, Stanton has hit .293 with 11 HRs and 25 RBIs against St. Louis.
And obviously, there is not the ten year financial obligation that would have come along with acquiring Stanton.
But arguably the biggest benefit from Stanton may be what his move to New York triggers in the rest of the American League East.
While the Boston Red Sox may bulk up to keep pace with the Yankees, can the same be said for Baltimore? Maybe the timetable to make a decision on Manny Machado is accelerated with the Orioles.
And what about Toronto? If the Blue Jays don’t feel they will be able to add enough, then is Josh Donaldson more available for trade?
The Orioles are coming off their first losing season since 2011, have a need for pitching, and are rumored to be one of the teams interested in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb. But would that be enough? Only Dylan Bundy (13-9) and Kevin Gausman (11-12) had more than 10 wins for the O’s last season.
If young pitching was part of a package offered by the Cardinals to Miami for Stanton, maybe Baltimore would have a similar interest. At only 24 years old, Machado has hit at least 30 home runs each of the last three seasons and driven in 86 or more runs.
He is in his final year of arbitration and can become a free agent after this season.
And in addition to Machado, Baltimore closer Zach Britton could also be a player on the move.
The 29-year old left-hander only saved 15 of 17 opportunities last year, but has 135 saves over the last four seasons. However, though MRIs showed no elbow damage, the forearm strain which caused him to miss so much of 2017 would have to be a concern for any team moving forward.
The Cardinals already made a trade this off-season with Toronto, sending Aledmys Diaz to the Jays in exchange for minor league outfielder J.B. Woodman. At the time, General Manager Ross Atkins shared the team was still looking for more infield help, as well as outfielders.
As anyone familiar with St. Louis knows, the Cardinals have an overabundance of depth at the outfield spots.
The idea of Giancarlo Stanton hitting hundreds of home runs in the years to come as a St. Louis Cardinal was exciting, but ultimately his decision could still result in some added production for the roster.
photo credit: Jasen Vinlove, Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports