Tom Verducci: Stanton is going to the Giants, even though he wants to go to the Dodgers. The idea that he will stay with a rebuilding team in which he earns about 30 percent of the payroll is not appealing to someone who has never seen the postseason. Ken Griffey wanted to be traded to the Braves, but when they didn’t want him, he took a deal to the Reds. Justin Verlander wanted to be traded to the Dodgers, Yankees or Cubs, but when those teams didn’t want him, he took a deal to the Astros. Sometimes you don’t get exactly what you want, but you get yourself in a better place.
Jay Jaffe: I don't think he gets traded before the end of the winter meetings, but if he does, it will be to the Giants. Throughout the industry, the belief is that the Dodgers are Stanton's first choice, but they have yet to pursue the 28-year-old Los Angeles-area native wholeheartedly. His remaining salary may be too much to fit into their already massive payroll unless Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi can reprise their 2014 winter meetings whirlwind and clear payroll quickly. Thus, the most likely near-term Stanton deal is to the Giants; they already have the framework in place and the move would at least get the slugger back on the west coast. But Stanton is the one with the leverage, and if he wants to hold out for the Dodgers—perhaps until next summer or even winter—sooner or later Derek Jeter and company will capitulate and take what they can get.
Stephanie Apstein: Yes. They were reportedly very close to terms with the Giants, and I think that will happen.
Jack Dickey: Yup, Stanton will be traded. Hell, he’s already been traded, to judge by the words from Giants general manager Bobby Evans on Wednesday. He just hasn’t waived his no-trade clause. Only Stanton knows what he wants, but both San Francisco and St. Louis present more appealing baseball opportunities than the tanking Marlins. (How do we know they’re tanking? They’re trading Giancarlo Stanton!) My guess is the Giants get it done.
Jon Tayler: He shouldn’t be—please, Derek Jeter, turn away from this madness—but he will be, because the Marlins are hell-bent on embracing their south Florida con artist destiny. But I don’t think either of the two reported frontrunners, the Giants and Cardinals, is bringing home the hulking slugger. Instead, I bet Stanton, though his no-trade clause, will ultimately force a deal to his hometown Dodgers, who have the payroll wherewithal to accommodate the NL MVP.
Gabriel Baumgaertner: Count me as one of the crazy few who does not think Stanton is going anywhere. By trading Dee Gordon to the Mariners, the Marlins are keen on stripping the team to pieces, but that doesn't change the fact that Stanton retains a full no-trade clause. Instead, I think Stanton waits and is traded next season, when a desperate team on the cusp of playoff contention will sell its farm system to acquire the slugger. If he is traded, he'd be smart to pick St. Louis instead of San Francisco, where his power will be decimated by the spacious AT&T Park and foggy San Francisco nights.
Connor Grossman: Stanton will end up waiving his no-trade clause to play in San Francisco. It’s well known at this point that his first choice is the Dodgers, but LA doesn’t seem hell-bent on getting a deal together this offseason to take on his monstrous contract.
Stanton’s desire to get out of Miami will ultimately drive him to make a decision this offseason, and the Giants seem to align with more of his reported preferences than the Cardinals. It’ll be San Francisco’s most significant acquisition since yanking Barry Bonds from Pittsburgh in December 1992.