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posted: 2/21/2013 5:37 AM

Here's surefire way to spark Cubs or Sox

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  • Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton fields a groundball in the outfield during a spring-training workout in Jupiter, Fla.

      Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton fields a groundball in the outfield during a spring-training workout in Jupiter, Fla.
    Associated Press

 
 

Bring me Giancarlo Stanton as soon as possible.

Something has to happen to spark the 2013 baseball season in Chicago.

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The biggest stories so far in spring training have been the aching bodies of Matt Garza and Matt Thornton. Sounds like the Cubs and the White Sox are threatening to be door-Matts.

Wednesday, the oddsmaker Bovada posted odds for each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams to win the World Series.

The Sox rank tied for 16th at 40 to 1 and the Cubs are tied for 22nd at 75 to 1.

In other words, the Sox are an "Ouch!" and the Cubs a "Yikes."

Here is a two-word cure for the summertime blues and blahs.

Giancarlo Stanton.

How much do I think the Sox and Cubs should be trying to outbid each other for this dude with offers the Marlins can't refuse?

The Cubs should offer appealing shortstop Starlin Castro for Stanton in a deal. The Sox should offer tantalizing pitcher Chris Sale. If the Marlins demand a sweetener, neither of our teams should be reluctant to come up with one.

The Marlins conducted a clearance sale after suffering a terribly overpriced 2012 season. This made Stanton unhappy with the Marlins and the Marlins unhappy with him over his unhappiness.

Rumors were that the Marlins would trade Stanton. Then they wouldn't. Then he was going to Seattle. Then he wasn't. Then he was headed to San Diego. Then he wasn't going anywhere.

Why Chicago wasn't mentioned as a destination is baffling.

For now Stanton remains a Marlin, but this is a strained relationship that many believe has to end sooner or later.

SI.com gives you an idea of where the Marlins are headed, ranking them 29th among MLB's 30 teams.

"The presence of Giancarlo Stanton alone gives Miami a slight edge over Houston, but the most meaningful games to be played in Marlins Park this year will be part of the World Baseball Classic in March."

Stanton's initial comments in spring camp last week projected resignation since he can't be a free agent until 2016.

Meanwhile, I can't get over the idea that Stanton could bolster the Sox or the Cubs as much in the stands as the standings as a charismatic, fan-friendly, 23-year-old, 6-foot-5, 245-pound slugger.

"He's a monster," espn.com quoted Marlins manager Mike Redmond describing Stanton, who batted .290 last year and has 93 home runs over his first 373 big-league games.

Not many Giancarlo Stantons become available, but Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria just might be wacky enough and vengeful enough to trade him.

The justification for surrendering Sale's potential to be one of the major leagues' best pitchers is that he has a similar potential to break down physically.

A big surprise last season was that Sale wasn't injured despite his slight build and reckless delivery. He wore down instead and remains an arm injury waiting to happen.

Stanton would provide the Sox with a matinee idol whose prodigious homers could attract fans to Comiskey Park.

As for the Cubs, Stanton is young enough that he would reach his peak about when they complete their rebuilding.

The justification for surrendering Castro is the Cubs have shortstop depth in their system, especially in 20-year-old Javier Baez.

Baseball America ranks Baez as the Cubs' No. 1 prospect and writes that he "could be better than Starling Castro. Baez has better defensive tools, more power and similar hitting ability."

So bring me Giancarlo Stanton to either side of Chicago even if it takes Chris Sale or Starlin Castro to get him.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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