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Trade rumor: Phillies interested in Giancarlo Stanton?

The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly been eying the superstar Marlins outfielder as a potential trade target.

Marc Serota

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has been a very popular name as analysts discuss who might be available at the MLB trade deadline this season. The latest rumor revolving around the slugger has the division rival Phillies looking closely into what it would take to acquire Stanton.

Philadelphia has reportedly made several inquiries into acquiring Stanton over the past few months, according to CSN Philadelphia. So far, the Miami Marlins have been telling them that Stanton remains unavailable.

The Marlins traded away much of their team in the off season, cutting payroll by over $50 million. It's understandable that they would not want to trade away their one hyper-marketable player left. Still, Stanton is going to hit arbitration for the first time following this season and the Marlins may grow more open to trading him as his salary rises.

Stanton, 23, is already just four home runs from 100 on his career. Through his first three major league seasons, he has hit .268/.349/.544. Stanton also plays very good defense in right field. Those numbers, along with his age, have made him one of the most valuable players in the MLB.

Those factors will also make him a very expensive player for whom to trade. The fact that he still has three years of team control remaining will further elevate that price tag. In addition, the Phillies would have to pay a premium to pry as big of a star player as Stanton from a division rival. The Marlins would certainly be more willing to trade Stanton somewhere where he will not be playing against the team 19 times each season.

For as interested as the Phillies are, they might not have the pieces to get a Stanton deal done. John Sickels of Minor League Ball has just two Philadelphia prospects graded as a B or better prior to 2013. The Phillies do have some nice young pitchers close to the majors, but the Marlins may be more interested in hitting prospects as they have a number of young pitchers already.

The Phillies have been starting Delmon Young in right field since he came off the disabled list this week.