CLEVELAND — It is inevitable that within seconds of a Red Sox outfielder making an out with runners in scoring position, fans on Twitter will bang the digital drum for the team to trade for Miami Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton.
If not on social media, surely you’ve heard the same thing at a bar, standing in a line, or on the radio.
Stanton is the panacea for all that ails the Red Sox. In one fell swoop they would have a powerful bat in the middle of their order and a lineup capable of returning to the postseason.
If not Stanton, then fans want a recognizable name like Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier to ride in and rescue this muddled season before it’s too late.
It’s time to lower your expectations.
The Marlins are 30-28 and 1½ games out of first place in the National League East. They’re simply not trading their best player to the Red Sox. Stanton will not be a free agent until after the 2016 season, and Miami is under no pressure to trade him.
Just for fun, let’s say Miami does decide to trade him. The Marlins will want quality in the form of three top-level prospects, not five replaceable second-tier guys. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Henry Owens might get the Marlins to pick up the phone and listen. Then they’ll hang up and watch Stanton hit another long homer.
The Marlins are not trading Stanton to the Red Sox this season. They’re just not.
Kemp is a .259 hitter with a .717 OPS since the start of the 2013 season with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs over 482 plate appearances. Injuries have left him without the athleticism needed to be a good outfielder, and the Dodgers moved him out of center to left. He also is owed $120.22 million through the end of the 2019 season.
Given his decline, what Kemp will be then is not a pleasant thought. Even if the Dodgers were willing to pick up half that money, it would be a very bad idea.
Ethier is the new center fielder of the Dodgers, so he has that going for him. But he is owed $65.75 million through 2017. Ethier is having roughly a league average season so far and is generally unproductive against lefties.
The Red Sox paid Jonny Gomes $5 million a year to be a platoon outfielder. They’re not going to give Ethier $65.75 million to fill that role.
Colleague Nick Cafardo offered up some realistic solutions recently.
But Stanton? Forget it.