Nightengale Thinks Cardinals Will Target J.D. Martinez Instead of Stanton This Offseason

Being that many Cardinals fans are hesitant to buy back into the team’s 2017 postseason chances, this is as good a time as any to start up the winter hot stove talks.

The same fans hesitant to get their playoff hopes up are likely also part of the faction calling for front office blood should the team not make a big move this offseason, namely for a big bopper to fit in the middle of the order. This subject among fans and media probably isn’t going away until said move is made.

Giancarlo Stanton, sitting on 56 home runs as of this writing and making a run at Roger Maris’ 61 mark, has been a name long-rumored to be of Cardinal interest and Nightengale originally reported the club contacted the Marlins about a potential trade before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. The Cardinals were one of a handful of teams including the Giants who were linked to Staton trade talks.

Alas, no Giancarlo move came to pass during the season, but no one said to be in the know is predicting he’ll be a Miami Marlin past 2017, and the main reason for this is his  ginormous contract of which he’ll still earn $295 million from through 2028.

“He makes so much money that (the Marlins) have to trade him,” Nightengale recently told Bernie Miklasz. “He just eats too much money on that payroll. His salary next year jumps from ($14.5 million) to ($25 million).”

Nightengale then named just two teams who he thinks will be in the running.

“I’m not sure anyone’s going to pay ($295 million),” he added. “As long as the Marlins eat some of that money, I think they’ll trade him as long as they get some prospects back. The team that has both, the money and the prospects, is the Cardinals. The Giants have the money. I think the Giants have a greater need for him, but they don’t have that kind of prospects.

“I still think he ends up with the Giants, but I don’t rule out the Cardinals.”

Nightengale believes Cardinals brass is likelier to target the Diamondbacks’ J.D. Martinez, himself no slouch at the plate. Martinez has 41 dingers on the season between his time with the Tigers and Dbacks, 25 of which have come since July 19.

“I bet the Cardinals will probably spend their money on J.D. Martinez instead. (He’s) a whole lot cheaper and you don’t have to give up that many prospects. You can get J.D. Martinez for under $100 million…It’s unbelievable what he’s doing.”

As always, time will tell whether Stanton or Martinez ever wear the Birds on the Bat, but management can rest assured there will be a lot of disappointed potential ticket buyers if they don’t add some sort of firepower to their lineup.

Stay tuned to 101ESPN and for plenty of Cardinals coverage and analysis.

More: GM Girsch Says Cardinals Will Try to ‘Turn What We Have Into What We Need’ This Offseason