ST. LOUIS - By the time you are reading this, the Stanton story could be old news. However, I doubt it. This is not going to be easy. When you are dealing with a $295 million contract, it's going to last as long as one of those World Series games on Fox with 15 pitching changes.
I do believe that nothing in the world would make more sense than Giancarlo Stanton batting fourth for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018. Nothing! Albert Pujols left after 2011. In a sense, Albert would be returning. Maybe he's not quite Albert, but there's something really cool about adding 59 homers to your lineup.
There's also the star quality. I realize Busch Stadium has been pretty crowded without him. However, one day a third-place team with no star power is going to take a hit in attendance. Can you imagine how compelling all of his at-bats would be? The man is 6'6" and 245 pounds of combustible power and force. I think people would literally hold off trips to the restroom, kitchen and concession stand based on when Stanton is hitting.
The cost? Please! $295 million is left on the contract and that's less per year than J.D. Martinez is now asking for in this free agency season. Stanton's contract will be about $100 million less than what Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will command the following year. The billion-dollar television deal kicks in next year. Phase Two of Ballpark Village is in the works. I love the DeWitt's but could really care less if their great-grandchildren have a few less million in their trust funds.
Understand something, this is a third place team now. Do you think the Cubs are going to take a step back with Theo Epstein in the front office and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant on the field? Look at the rest of the league too. How do you really think the Cardinals stack up against the Nationals and Dodgers?
Here's the problem. John Mozeliak is a really smart guy and I believe he is going to do everything possible to try and make this happen. He will offer the right package of players. He will find a way to make it work financially. However, he can't do one thing. He can't make Stanton like St. Louis.
You can't make anybody like somebody. You can try. You can wine and dine and deliver chocolates and flowers, but you can't make Stanton like St. Louis. So I am hoping this thing works out. I really am.
However, if it doesn't it's not Mo's fault. You can't force love.