I'm not sure if you all have heard this but... the freshly minted NL MVP might get traded this offseason.
I know! Crazy right?
What else -- it seems like the San Francisco Giants might have a legit interest in getting this MVP. They might even think it'll fix the attendance issues that plagued the team for the first time since World Series parades became a thing in San Francisco.
It's no secret that Giancarlo Stanton (oh, that's who we're talking about by the way) would love to play in LA and let's not be foolish, if LA has any interest whatsoever that is where he'll land. But if LA doesn't have interest in adding him, and Andrew Friedman hasn't showing any type of willingness to take on those type of contracts in his Dodger GM tenure, then SF is the next best spot. I do think it would be kind of cool if Arte Moreno surprised everyone and picked Stanton up to pair with Trout and Upton but that ain't going to happen.
Stanton wants to win, yes. And the Giants lost 98 games in 2017. However, he also allegedly wants to play in stadiums with big crowds every night. He prefers a coast, and most prefers the west coast, and he doesn't want to endure a rebuild.
The Giants, aside from not winning in 2017, offer all those things. They're never going to go full rebuild at least not until after 2022 when Buster Posey's contract ends. The fans are not going to stop showing up unless 2017 happens over and over again and the likelihood of that is slim. A lot went wrong for the Giants in 2017 and for it to all happen again... well that would really just be devious of the Baseball Gods.
Despite AT&T's rep for not being friendly to hitters, it DOES have a rep for having great fans, a great atmosphere for players, and despite what WE think a front office and coaching staff that actually has respect from other players on how they treat players and their families. The park itself is of course sold out almost every single night win or lose which has to appeal to Stanton who, even during an epic and record threatening pace of home runs, had a hard time getting the citizens of Miami out of their rest homes or nightclubs to come see him hit baseballs over the fence.
From the Giants perspective, getting Stanton would mean getting a legit Major League superstar that would reinvigorate a fanbase that forgot what it was like to lose so much. That in effect would mean the park would start selling out again regularly and don't think that notion isn't important to the key decision makers. Also, it would give the park a player to buzz about that is hasn't had since Bonds retired and Timmy Lincecum's magic ran out. I mean, those awesome World Series runs were something but are people really buying tickets on a cold Monday night to watch Buster Posey hit? No, they aren't. And as awesome as Bumgarner is (and he is... super effing awesome) he doesn't have that megawatt star power that would get the casual fan to come out to the yard. Giancarlo Stanton crushing 450 foot homers might however.
Also, I know it SEEMS very highly unlikely, but don't count out Stanton opting out of his contract after 2020. If he has 3 more seasons of MVP level production, he'd still be a free agent at age 31. Would he be able to surpass in theory an 8yr/233M deal at age 31? By then who knows whatsalaries would be but I would imagine it's not automatic he would stay locked into his contract. Especially if the Giants were sucking. And especially not after Bryce Harper and Manny Machado get somewhere around 400M-500M each next offseason even though they're several years younger.
Here's a look at Stanton's contract breakdown. It actually declines towards the end when Stanton is older.
2018: 25M (28 yrs old)2019: 26M (29)2020: 26M (30)2021: 29M (31)2022: 29M (32)2023: 32M (33)2024: 32M (34)2025: 32M (35)2026: 29M (36)2027: 25M (37)2028: 25M or 10M buyout (38)
What's interesting is you're only paying 30M+ for him 3 seasons out of that contract. To put this into perspective, JD Martinez is asking for 30M per season for the next 7 seasons right now and he's older, slower, and not as good defensively.
The Giants have an impossible task when it comes to adding superstar hitters to their line-up. Bonds came because this was home. Otherwise he would have gone to the highest bidder. No other free agent superstar wants to come here for multiple reasons (the park, California taxes, the park, and maybe the weather. Also, it's expensive as **** to live here and the Giants would have to overpay just for them to say yes. Think Aaron Rowand. Also, the park.)
I guess what I am trying to say is... the chances of the Giants signing another hitting star is basically a pipedream. They would have to draft one. And they haven't been exactly stellar in that department.
To date in the AT&T Park Era, they have not drafted anyone capable of hitting 30+ homers. Posey has been their best hitter drafted by far and he topped out at 24 homers in 2012. Sandoval (think about this)... SANDOVAL is probably their 2nd best farm system hitter produced and his career high in home runs was 25. Good ol' Richie Aurilia is the only prospect that came up through the Giants system and wound up hitting over 30 homers for the team and that happened in 2001 when he was hitting in front of Barry when all he did was set the single season record in home runs. And let's remember Richie came to the Giants via trade (granted, as a prospect). Otherwise, the only other hitter that comes close to qualifying as a legit home run threat is Adam Duvall, who has hit 30+ the past two seasons in Cincinnati, one of the easiest parks to hit homers.
There you have it. If the Giants ever want to get a legit home run hitter, they either have to get extremely lucky in the draft or trade for one.
Stanton is easily the best chance they've had since Bonds to acquire a franchise altering superstar hitter and an opportunity they won't get again any time soon. Like I said, there's no way Harper or Machado come here next offseason and there is no other elite home run hitting franchise star coming available anytime soon after those guys.
They need to make it happen. The time is now San Francisco Giants. Go get the MVP.