St. Louis Cardinals: No excuses, it’s time for Giancarlo Stanton

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

The St. Louis Cardinals front office has had excuses in the past, this time though, those won’t be enough.

The St. Louis Cardinals‘ interest in Giancarlo Stanton has been well reported. Of course the Cardinals are not alone in this pursuit. Stanton is the biggest name on the market and it really isn’t close. That said, it is time the Cardinals stop being a bridesmaid and be the bride. Lock down Stanton under whatever means necessary.

The St. Louis Cardinals pursuit of top targets hasn’t gone swimmingly. Fans all know about losing Jason Heyward to the Cubs and of course David Price to the Red Sox. Last season’s addition of Dexter Fowler was finally what ended the streak of coming in second (in free agency that is). This year the Cardinals need to be first and they need to make a point to guarantee that they are.

The Stanton trade talks have been complicated. For a player of his magnitude the Marlins should be asking for the world. Unfortunately for them, they kind of can’t.

When trading a superstar for prospects most teams aren’t trying to rid themselves of nearly 300 million dollars. This, in a way, has the Marlins handcuffed. Choose one: rid themselves of as much money as possible for limited return, or eat some of the contract and get back a better player or two?

This is clearly a tough decision for a new ownership group who wasn’t handed the most stable of situations.

It’s time for the St. Louis Cardinals to end the questions. It is time for John Mozeliak, Mike Girsch, and Bill Dewitt to agree on a deal the Marlins cannot refuse. Take on more money and offer a decent package in return. There is a surplus of outfielders and pitchers in the minors, make a deal from that. The Cardinals have money, don’t let them fool you, they do and they can take on this contract.

The Cardinals’ TV deal with Fox Sports Midwest finally goes into effect this season. One billion dollars between 2018-2032; that is a lot of money and it isn’t just to line the Dewitt family’s pockets. It is to improve this team so that the next TV deal is for even more money.

It is time to stop treating the Cardinals like a mid-market team (except in draft compensation). This team has the funds to pull off this move and not be terribly crippled financially for its duration.

Oh, and I should mention Phase 2 of Ballpark Village which will be a decent money maker for this team in the future as well.

On the prospect side, this is easy. Avoid trading off your prized possession in Alex Reyes, do your best to hold onto guys who you may need this year in Luke Weaver and possibly Jack Flaherty, but the rest should be fair game.

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The Marlins are not a complete team by any means and have one of the worst pitching staffs in the league. The Cardinals have an excess of pitching prospects and while it is hard to trade away your shiny new toys, realistically not every one of them is going to make it to the majors.

So trade from your surplus, throw in an outfielder too if you need to since you have a lot of those. No team can offer the package the St. Louis Cardinals can right now and they need to take advantage of that.

If in a couple weeks, John Mozeliak says, “we just couldn’t come together on the right deal for us,” call him out. That is the only way this front office will be held accountable.

Giancarlo Stanton is by far the best option on the market and the one who truly makes the most sense. The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t seen power of this magnitude since Mark McGwire. That is the kind of player this team needs; that is the kind of player who could get this team over the hump and back in the playoffs.

Sure, taking on the money is scary, losing out on hyped up prospects stings a little, but it is time to make this move. Playoff teams have superstars; this team does not have a superstar.

The Cubs have Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and a slew of others. The Diamondbacks have Paul Goldschmidt and the Nationals have Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer. Who makes that list for the Cardinals? Carlos Martinez at times?

Next: Best 10 trades in the last 20 years

It is time to add the piece that has been missing and get this team back to the promise land.