How the Seattle Mariners Can Be Involved in the Giancarlo Stanton Sweepstakes

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: Giancarlo Stanton
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: Giancarlo Stanton /

Lets be honest with each other: Giancarlo Stanton is not going to be calling Seattle home in 2018. However; that does not mean the Seattle Mariners cannot be right in the middle of the Stanton sweepstakes.

So how does Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto be in the middle of a trade market where he can’t win the grand prize? By being the middle man. The Mariners can still improve their 2018 roster without getting the reigning home run champion.

While teams like the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals have been the most aggressive on Stanton early, it does not sound like Stanton wants to go to either place, preferring to be traded to a team on the West Coast(No, he still isn’t coming to Seattle).

As such, teams like the San Francisco Giants and Los Angels Dodgers are said to have extreme interest in the young slugger. The Dodgers appear to be the favorites, but San Francisco is right in the thick of things.

The problem for the Giants’ pursuit of Stanton is two-fold. First, the team needs to shed some salary before taking on Stanton’s monster contract. Reports surfaced that the Giants are willing to move a starting pitcher to clear the space.

The second problem is with the Giants farm system. While still a rock solid farm, they simply do not have the prospect that the Dodgers do, and could get outbid, unless they are willing to complete empty out the farm.

As a result, the Giants need to move a starter for a prospect, then likely use that prospect in a Stanton trade. Enter Jerry Dipoto. The Mariners have a need for starting pitching, and the payroll to take on the contract.

Seattle’s farm system woes are well documented, but it still has useful pieces. By taking on the entirety of, lets say Jeff Samardzija’s deal, Seattle can improve their rotation for a lower cost. Because San Francisco would use this prospect to help pursue Stanton, a potential 3 team deal is in the works.

How would this look for the teams involved? Here is our indecent proposal:

The Giants trade Jeff Samardzija, Heliot Ramos, Bryan Reynolds for Giancarlo Stanton and Marc Rzepczynski.

The Marlins trade Giancarlo Stanton for Heliot Ramos, Bryan Reynolds, Nick Neidert and Thyago Vieira

The Mariners trade Nick Neidert, Marc Rzepczynski, and Thyago Vieira for Jeff Samardzija

Whether the Giants need to include Christian Arroyo or Chris Shaw to Ramos to woo the Marlins is another story, but this frame-work could help all 3 teams involved. Ramos gives the Marlins a potential star, and Reynolds, Neidert and Vieira all have high floor and are close to MLB ready.

The Giants clear salary they desperately need, and get the star they need to compliment Buster Posey, as well as some bullpen help.

For the Mariners, they part with arguably the second best prospect in their system and a sexy reliever like Vieira. They get a viable, mid-rotation starter and clear a spot in its crowded bullpen. Samardzija is scheduled to earn a $19.8 million salary for the next 3 years.

It might sound pricey, but Samardzija, or Shark, has thrown 200 plus innings 5 consecutive seasons, with a 3.73 FIP and a solid 1.21 WHIP and 8.2 K/9. He also doesn’t dole out many free passes, averaging just 2.2 BB/9 the past 5 seasons.

These are the type of creative, interesting deals the Mariners must entertain if they want to add impact to their rotation in 2018. The market is thin, and the Mariners must use their payroll flexibility to help. By taking on Samardzija contract, they can accomplish just that.

Losing a few decent prospects won’t derail an already frail system. “Shark” gives the Mariners a legitimate 1 through 4 in the rotation. Trotting out Paxton, Felix, Samardzija, and Leake 4 of 5 days gives the Mariners an excellent chance each night.

Next: A 2018 Seattle Mariners Off-Season Plan

There are a lot of holes you can poke in this proposal. However; one cannot argue that Jeff Samardjiza will not help. Whether the deal is plausible remains to be seen. But if Jerry Dipoto wants to end the playoff drought, he has to be willing to stick his nose into other people’s business.