Don’t let that headline deter you, every team in baseball. The duplicitous Marlins insist Giancarlo Stanton will not be traded and, considering he is still one season short of arbitration, just 23-years old and one of the best players in the game, they would be nuts to absorb the kind of PR and on-field hit moving him represents. The Marlins, slimy yet cunning business people as they are, won’t hand over Stanton to opportunistic American League pilferers…yet.

Unless, as the asterisk indicates, they do. Intrigue!

There is a tremendous case for trading Stanton from a value proposition standpoint. Grant Brisbee of SB Nation broke down the key reason the Marlins won’t trade Stanton (his overwhelming goodness) while suggesting it might not be the worst idea in the world.

In an article for the Boston Globe, graduate of the Lloyd Christmas School of Optimism Chad Finn insists the Red Sox must inquire about the availability of Giancarlo Stanton. The Red Sox “never replaced Manny Ramirez” and Finn believes the Marlins right fielder is the man for the job. Despite the Marlins’ public overtures that he is off the market, Finn thinks the putting in a few calls is the least the Sox should do. Stanton playing at Fenway Park is not even fun to think about, what with all the loss of life and carnage his 90-odd homers would cause in the Monster seats.

But what would it take to get a deal done?

When one balances the four years of contract control remaining for Stanton and the historical levels at which he clouts home runs AND THEN the recent trade pieces demanded by Miami in the smörgåsbord of contracts and hoodwinked former free agents they eventually shipped to Toronto…the asking price for Stanton would be out of this world.

It is certainly worth the Marlins while to see what they can get in exchange for their best hitter, fielder, and most marketable player. Giancarlo Stanton becoming the loneliest boy on South Beach when the Marlins shipped all his team mates north and expressed his twitter outrage straight away; that outrage might not resonate as loudly when the Marlins slide the first multi-million dollar contract offer under his nose.

If the Marlins are not able to negotiate a contract extension with the 23-year old slugger, his rapidly increasing arbitration rewards might further direct them towards making a move. The arbitration process is nebulous at best but one thing the arbiters/system loves is home runs. Magic Mike Stanton has home runs for days.

Hunter Pence is a very good baseball player and has been for a long time (prior to 2012). His expected arbitration reward is in the $13.8 million dollar range in his final year of eligibility. Stanton won’t reach that level for four more years, imagine what kind of return he can expect? If Pence is looking at $14 in 2012, does that put Stanton over $20 million per season by the time 2016 rolls around?

Prince Fielder won arbitration rewards of $7, $11 and $15 million dollars in his three years of arbitration as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. That is not exactly “Marlins money”, not without a hefty discount built-in down the line. Ryan Howard had Super Two status when he earned a then-record $10 million dollars from the Phillies in his first trip to arbitration.

The Marlins previously did right by their best and brightest, buying up all their arbitration years in one fell swoop. Just as Hanley Ramirez entered arbitration, the Marlins signed him to a six-year extension worth $70 million dollars. They got his arb years for $5.5/$7/$11 million per annum. Not to mention three of his free agent seasons coming much closer to market value for a player who, at that time, was one of the very best in the game.

Miguel Cabrera before him wasn’t so fortunate, winning his arbitration hearing his first year of eligibility only to see them infamously trade him the following winter. Cabrera himself won more than $7 million in his first arb year and that was back in 2007.

Before they can put themselves in a position to lock Giancarlo Stanton up, the Marlins must look long and hard at the potential costs as well as the potential pitfalls. As Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos tells any one who listens, paying a lot in arbitration isn’t a bad problem to have – it’s a great indicator of your young players developing and succeeding at the highest level.

The Marlins can only balance the potential for attrition in Stanton’s numbers as his big body racks up miles, his current trade value (sky high) and their own frugal tendencies. The Red Sox and every other team in baseball are not wrong to inquire about Stanton. Mind the sticker shock, is all.