Cubs finalist in the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes

Miami Marlins Giancarlo Stanton bats during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Sunday Oct. 1 2017 in Miami

They already traded their big signing from the year before, Mike Leake, when the Mariners agreed to take on the majority of his deal. As such, the rumor mill is buzzing with potential free agent signings - namely Japanese star Shohei Ohtani - and trade talks, especially regarding Giancarlo Stanton and now Manny Machado.

Stanton told the Marlins that he's now willing to accept a trade to three more teams. The four teams on Stanton's list made up this year's ALCS and NLCS, and they are all expected to compete for the 2018 World Series. Acquiring Stanton would give the Astros both of the 2017 MVPs since Jose Altuve won the award in the American League. And the Astros just won the World Series and are now projected to win 97 games in 2018 with their roster at the moment, so why get desperate and take on this contract if you don't at all have to?

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Imagine a lineup featuring Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Giancarlo Stanton. A native of the San Fernando Valley area, the Dodgers have presumably been his first choice all along, but Stanton apparently would not shy away from the massive spotlight he'd assume in the Bronx.

The Yankees have luxury tax concerns, and they may also want to make a run at Bryce Harper (or Manny Machado) next offseason. The Giants finished last in the Majors last season with 128 homers; Stanton hit 59 all by himself, more than Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence combined (57).

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Stanton has battled injuries throughout his career, playing 120 games just twice in the last five years.

And while the Yankees can afford anything they want, as they've proven over the years, the math doesn't work if they're going to get under that luxury-tax threshold. That includes a yearly salary of $32 million in 2023, 2024 and 2025. Any team that acquires Stanton is expected to pay the bulk of his contract.

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