Cardinals management confirmed Friday afternoon that the club was no longer in the running to acquire Giancarlo Stanton, the reigning National League MVP.
St. Louis Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said the team had a deal in place with the Miami Marlins to get Stanton, but the outfielder would not waive his no-trade clause.
"While we are disappointed in his decision, we will continue to make every effort to improve our club for the upcoming season,” DeWitt said.
Stanton, 28, just completed the third year of a massive 13-year, $325 million contract with the Marlins.
“We felt this was a great landing spot for him, but it was not meant to be,” said Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak.
Fans in Cardinals Nation at one local watering hole shared emotions of disappointment and resentment, as well as pride and optimism.
Stanton was on top of Cards fan Anne Wallace’s holiday wish list.
“I think it would’ve been a great Christmas present for the fans of St. Louis,” Wallace said. “I think St. Louis would have been a place that he would have been accepted and loved … I think it’s disappointing. I think that he should’ve given St. Louis a chance.”
But Joe Frodyma said it’s no big deal, adding that he always had his doubts.
“From the beginning, I really did not think that he was going to come here to begin with, because there were always rumors about it. But I guess it’s just on to the next one,” he said. “I think we will go and get someone else one or two people and not have to give someone $300,000, 000 over 10 years.”
And while no one likes rejection, it seems Cardinals fans have received the message: Stanton wasn’t interested in playing here.
“The players that come here, they know what it’s like to play in St. Louis—it’s a great baseball city—and if he doesn’t want to come here, we’ll then move on,” said Todd Knight, St. Peters resident.
So where does all this leave Cardinals fans? They should have more clarity next week, as representatives head to Orlando for this year’s winter meetings.