Phillies Rumors: Club recently showed interest in Giancarlo Stanton

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By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

Giancarlo Stanton has smashed seven of his league-high 50 home runs against the Philadelphia Phillies this year, the most he's hit against any individual team. Much of this has come while rumors have swirled that the Phillies have at least some level of interest in the 27-year-old. 

The latest report comes from USA Today's Bob Nightengale, who says that the Phillies were among the teams to call the Miami Marlins about Stanton after he cleared waivers: 

The San Francisco Giants recently called, and privately informed the Miami Marlins of their interest.

So have the St. Louis Cardinals. The Texas Rangers. The Philadelphia Phillies didn’t want to be left out, either.

They all have one thing in mind.

They want Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and while it’s not realistic now, it could be by the start of the 2018 season.

The Marlins are in the midst of an ownership change, with the embattled Jeffrey Loria is the process of selling the club to a group headed by business man Jorge Mas and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter. This made a trade this summer, all while Stanton is having a career year and the Marlins have worked their way back into contention, impossible. 

In late June, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported that the Phillies had "significant chatter" inside their organization about the idea of potentially trading for Stanton and/or his teammate Christian Yelich. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last month that the team had expressed interest to the Marlins in Yelich, but not Stanton, despite having had the discussions internally that Cafardo reported. That makes Nightengale's report the first time that we've heard that the Phillies have actually engaged the Marlins about Stanton. 

While the idea of Stanton and Rhys Hoskins hitting in the middle of the lineup at Citizens Bank Park sounds scary, it's still not clear if Stanton would be a great fit in Philadelphia.

For as great of an offensive season that Stanton has had in 2017, it comes after two injury-riddled seasons. Players who have injuries in their 20s, even if some have been more freak injuries, don't tend to get healthier as they age. (Not to mention, power doesn't normally age well.) Advanced metrics also suggest that he's declined as a fielder over the past two seasons, which definitely matters when you are paying someone a five-tool player salary.  

After this season, Stanton is still owed $295 million through the 2028 season, when he'll be 38. The Marlins could pay down some of that salary in a trade, but that would mean they would expect a larger return in terms of prospects from the Phillies. 

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With Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley, among others, giving the Phillies strong organizational outfield depth, it's fair to wonder whether making a franchise-altering trade for an elite outfielder would make the most sense. The Phillies would likely have to part with at least a portion of the elite pitching that they have in the lower-levels of their minor leagues, which may not make sense when they have a ton of organizational outfield depth and a need for front-line pitching at the major league level.

If the Phillies are able to sign Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper after the 2018 season in free-agency, that would be great, because it wouldn't involve parting with Adonis Medina, Ranger Suarez or Franklyn Kilome AND taking on a gigantic contract. (Harper is also a better player.) In that case, the Phillies could make a trade with some of their outfield depth to acquire more pitching, but they wouldn't be giving up the pitching they already have for a position of luxury. 

Stanton also has an opt-out after the 2020 season, when he'll be 30 years old. It would seem especially silly for the Phillies to trade a good haul of prospects for Stanton now, only for him to walk around the time the team may be a serious contender. It would also seem especially silly to give Stanton a new contract on the wrong side of 30, after Harper, Manny Machado and Mike Trout have probably all rewritten the financial record books. 

All of this assumes that Stanton, a Califorina native, would waive his no-trade clause to play in Philadelphia. Though I think there's at least a decent chance that he would, it's certainly not a guarantee. 

No one, myself included, is going to kick-and-scream if the Phillies ultimately do trade for Stanton. He's a generational power hitter, one that's probably going to hit 500 home runs. That doesn't mean that it's not also fair to ask if making a franchise-altering trade for him would be a good path to ending up on a parade float. 

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