We are glad they did not trade for Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton spent eight seasons with the Marlins and blossomed into one of the best players in the game. After signing a massive extension with Miami, he proved his value by winning the 2017 NL MVP award. Stanton led all of baseball in 2017 with 59 home runs. Stanton was the most powerful star in baseball.
During the 2017 season, Jeffrey Loria sold the Marlins. Now under new leadership, Miami was looking to unload large contracts. Stanton's value had never been higher, so they moved him that winter, following an exciting trade saga that saw at least five teams connected to the slugger. It was the Cardinals who first had a deal in place. Fans were furious to learn that Stanton had activated his no-trade clause, nullifying St. Louis' offer.
He accepted a later trade to the New York Yankees, who sent back an uninspiring package of players, including Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Jose Devers. The limited prospect capital was offset by New York's willingness to take on the massive commitment, as they agreed to pay about $265MM of the $295MM Stanton was owed.
Fast forward to 2023, and it's clear that the Cardinals dodged a bullet. The dynamic pairing of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge just doesn't play often enough, and it has weighed heavily on the 2023 Yankees. At least when Judge is healthy, he's one of baseball's best players. The same can no longer be said of Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton has not, in any capacity, been worth what he's been paid. Sure, he's hit some dingers in New York, but he's had trouble staying on the field, and his strikeout woes have worsened. Stanton is simply not a valuable player right now, and he costs his organization over $30MM every year!
To complete a Stanton deal, the Cardinals would have paid dearly, either in prospects or in money. Imagine adding $30MM to the current payroll! They'd have much more trouble acquiring pitching this off-season. On the flip side, even if Miami had taken on significant money, which they reportedly did not want to do, the Cardinals would probably be without some of their talent which has now entered its prime.
Additionally, it may have prevented the Cardinals from acquiring Paul Goldschmidt, as young pieces like Weaver and Kelly could have been included in the Stanton deal. It's safe to say that the Cardinals are better off without Stanton in St. Louis.