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Looking for Giancarlo Stanton trade timeline? Remember Chris Sale

Rob Bradford
November 21, 2017 - 11:47 am

When it comes to the Marlins trading Giancarlo Stanton, there has been just a trickle of news.

At the GM meetings a week ago, Miami owner Derek Jeter said there were no guarantees he was going to move his highly-paid outfielder. Since then we've gotten the news that the Giants and  Cardinals have extended formal offers, with the Red Sox potentially lining up to give their best shot.

Most of the reports involving the Giants and Cardinals involve significant players/prospects heading the Marlins way, which would mean those teams most likely wouldn't be eating a healthy chunk of the $295 million owed Stanton over the next 10 years. The Red Sox could position themselves as a team that would ease the financial burden that seems to be weighing down the Marlins.

So, we wait.

While there is no blueprint as to how this is going to unfold, it is worth it to look back at how last offseason's mega-trade went down. In case you forgot, that would be the one involving Chris Sale.

The Red Sox officially sent Michael Kopech, Yoan Moncada, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz to the White Sox for Sale on Dec. 6. That would have been a month after the two teams engaged in talks at the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. Four weeks. That's how long it took to unfurl the particulars of the trade, with Chicago general manager Rick Hahn using the time probably much in the same way Jeter and Co. is right now.

"We had a sense once before we got to the GM meetings what course we were going to go down," Hahn told "The pace of it wasn't really clear because we weren't quite sure how much overlap we were going to have with other clubs as to how we were valuing our guys. The meetings were the first taste of what the market was actually going to be. Who was going to be serious. What they were willing to part with for some of our players. And then we were able to go back to Chicago and try and put things in order and zero in a little bit more on conversations that were worth continuing versus those that were going nowhere.

"Our talks with Boston really picked up before the winter meetings. We had a meeting at GM meetings. We had a follow-up conversation after the meetings. But it wasn't until we were able to truly get a firm sense of the market that we were able to accelerate things and focus in on a deal with them."

One interesting aspect of the month-long evaluation period was where the Red Sox were in Scottsdale, and how they were viewed by the White Sox in the weeks immediate after. The lesson to be learned is that while it would have appeared St. Louis and San Francisco were positioning themselves as the favorites to land Stanton, the landscape could change sharply leading up to Dec. 11, when the winter meetings kick off in Orlando.

"I thought they had the potential to be," said Hahn when asked if the Red Sox were viewed as one of the clubs with a better-than-average chance to get Sale. "I don't think I would have called them the favorites when we left Scottsdale. I wouldn't have handicapped them as the favorites, but they were very much in the mix.

"I think at the time there was some question in regards to the CBT [competitive balance] tax that they were sensitive to when we met in Scottsdale. I think things had to be firmed up with the CBA. Our meeting was more speculative, so I knew it wasn't going to come quickly with them, but at the same time we knew it was going to take some time to get to a deal with anyone."

And it did take some time, as it probably will when it comes to the Marlins. Different player. Slightly different dyanmics. But same anxiousness as the meat and potatoes of the Hot Stove season kicks in.

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