As the 2017 season comes to a close and the Astros celebrate their World Series title, our focus shifts to Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

There are a number of intriguing names that will be on the market this winter, but none more intriguing than Stanton, whose exit from Miami appears inevitable. Any team in need of a middle-of-the-order presence that can handle most or all of Stanton’s contract will be inquiring about him.

But the real question is where does Stanton want to go? He has a no-trade clause, so that might be the biggest factor of all. He’s made it crystal clear he wishes to go to a contender.

Nonetheless, we have an early list of possible destinations based on rumors around the league. Here are the five teams that keep coming up in Stanton talks…

Boston Red Sox

Let me get the Red Sox out of the way first since if you read any of my stuff or listen to Tater Talk you know they’re my team. The Giancarlo Stanton-to-Boston hype is already in full force. You can’t listen to Boston sports talk radio (you shouldn’t anyway) without hearing callers rant and rave about how the Red Sox need to trade the entire team for him this offseason. It makes sense, though, as Boston is in desperate need of a power bat in the middle of the lineup.

Plus, Stanton seems pretty open about the idea of DH’ing in Boston.

As great as Stanton in a Red Sox uniform sounds in theory, Boston would likely have to give up some really talented starters. Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Rafael Devers are all names that would be inquired about by the Marlins.

The Red Sox can’t be counted out as a possible destination for Stanton, but I just can’t picture a trade that actually makes sense for both sides being put together.

San Francisco Giants

As of today, it looks like the Giants are the early favorites to trade for Stanton. Maybe I’m just in denial, but I don’t see it happening.

San Francisco would have to to eat nearly all of the $300 million remaining on his contract. That doesn’t seem like something they’d be willing to do, especially considering they would need to get more than just Stanton to contend in the near future. Plus, who would they even package in a deal to acquire him?

Apparently there’s “mutual interest” between Stanton and the Giants, so that’s why they’re on this list. But gun to head, I don’t think he ends up in SF. I’d be pretty surprised.

St. Louis Cardinals

If I had to pick one destination Stanton most likely will end up, it’s St. Louis.

It’s no secret the Cardinals are actively searching for a middle-of-the-order guy. According to Peter Gammons, St. Louis “made one of their best young pitchers available if the Derek Jeter ownership will take back some of the money”. It all just makes too much sense.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch also reported the Cardinals “desire a bat for the middle of the order… [they] believe their best bet for a bat is via trade.” So take that for what it’s worth.

Los Angeles Dodgers

It’s impossible to count out a big-spending team like the Dodgers in situations like this.

Of course, out of all these teams I’ve listed, the Dodgers need Stanton the least. That alone means L.A. is an unlikely destination for the Miami slugger. But if the Dodgers do indeed decide to go all-in for Stanton and add another menacing bat to that lineup, they have the pieces to make a deal happen.

Plus, Stanton grew up a Dodgers fan, so there’s that.

Philadelphia Phillies

Stanton has a no-trade clause and doesn’t have any interest in being a part of a rebuild. But hold on, Phillies fans, there is some hope…

ESPN’s Buster Olney said the Phillies are among the teams that could make a push to acquire Stanton this offseason. “They have a ton of payroll flexibility and enough of a stable of prospects to build a trade, and perhaps a greater sense of urgency given the lack of progress in their rebuilding this winter.”

Philadelphia probably wouldn’t be Stanton’s preferred destination, but Phillies fans should be happy they’re even in the discussion as a possibility. Bringing in a bat like Stanton’s would speed up the rebuilding process real quick.

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