Well, we didn't have to wait for the winter meetings -- or even Thanksgiving -- for a blockbuster trade (pending approval by MLB).
The Miami Marlins decided to sell and the Toronto Blue Jays were willing buyers in a huge trade that sent, among others, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle to Toronto with Yunel Escobar and prospects to the Marlins. (Several reports say Ricky Nolasco could be the next Marlin traded.)
This deal could impact the Rangers if the Blue Jays consider dealing a catcher. We'll get to that later.
It's likely that the Marlins, now that they've dealt many of their big-money players, will try to build a club around outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. ESPN.com's Jim Bowden tweeted that one GM inquired on Stanton and was told he was not available. That would be the smart move. But that shouldn't keep us from speculating, right?
Stanton was not happy on Twitter -- "Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple" -- when he found out about the trade, which gives the Marlins salary relief but leaves them with little around Stanton right now. It has to make a long-term deal with him more doubtful, too.
What if the Marlins change their minds and consider trading Stanton? I know for many of you Jurickson Profar is untouchable. But I think there are special situations in which you'd have to ponder shipping him off. This is one of those deals. Perhaps the Marlins are more interested in Mike Olt. Either way, to get Stanton, any prospect has to be considered. If the Marlins make Stanton available, the Texas Rangers have enough young talent to make a deal like this one work.
For a club that could be without Josh Hamilton for 2013, Stanton sure would be a huge asset. For starters, he's 23 years old and becomes arbitration eligible after the 2013 season. That means he's not a free agent until 2016.
Stanton hit .290 in 2012 with 37 homers and 86 RBIs in 449 at-bats. That was his third straight season of solid production. He batted .262 with 34 homers and 87 RBIs in 2011 and in limited action -- 100 games -- in 2010, Stanton hit .259 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs. The power is clearly there and he knows how to drive runs home.
Because he's under club control for the next four seasons, he won't come cheap. Maybe Olt isn't a good enough prospect to headline the deal. But if Profar was the big name, could there be something that could work? The Marlins might want a pitcher too, since they've dealt a couple already. Could that mean one of the club's top prospects such as Martin Perez or Cody Buckel, for instance?
But at least broaching the idea of Profar could get the conversation going. If you want a player like Stanton, you've got to be willing to discuss your top prospect. Stanton would be worth that price and would slot right into the middle of the order, helping make up for the production lost if Hamilton leaves. And he'd be there for at least four years.
That's my thought. What's yours? Do you deal for Stanton knowing it means Profar? Do you think the Marlins would even consider dealing him now?