The Philadelphia Phillies were reportedly among the three "most aggressive" suitors for Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton this past summer. But it sounds as though they may have their work cut out getting Stanton to waive his full no-trade clause if they were able to complete a trade for his services.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, some close to the National League MVP candidate think he may block any trade to the Phillies:
Some inside the Marlins clubhouse suggest they doubt Giancarlo Stanton would approve the Phillies due to their rebuilding state – though they have some very good position prospects and are deep-pocketed enough to pay big this winter (or afford Stanton).
It is worth noting, this is just speculation by "some inside the Marlins clubhouse," whoever they may be. They, presumably, haven't asked Stanton if he would accept a trade to the Phillies. It also wouldn't be the first time that a player had to be convinced to waive his no-trade clause. For example, Roy Oswalt initially was hesitant to waive his no-trade clause to come to the team in 2010, but eventually did so.
With that said, when Oswalt waived his no-trade clause, the Phillies had won two consecutive Naitonal League pennants and looked to have a very good chance to return to the World Series for a third straight year. For as bright as many people in the league feel that the Phillies future is, Stanton will be 28 next month and has never played in the playoffs. He told Heyman last month that he doesn't want to rebuild in Miami, and he presumably wouldn't be especially high on waiving his no-trade clause to go to another team that's in a rebuilding process, even if they are closer to returning to contention.
It's also fair to wonder if trading for Stanton would be the best way for the Phillies to return to being a perennial power in the National League.
While the idea of Stanton hitting in the middle of the lineup with Rhys Hoskins does sound appealing, it's fair to wonder if acquiring him would be the Phillies' best route to contention. As I wrote last month, acquiring Stanton would require taking on much of the $295 million that he's owed through 2027, while also probably moving some of the organization's best pitching prospects. The Phillies already have a strong young outfield with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr, in addition to having spent their last three first-round draft picks on outfielders. Bryce Harper is among the crop of outfielders who will be free-agents next offseason, and signing one of them wouldn't require a team that needs starting pitching surrendering their best starting pitching prospects.