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At the very least the ball is in Stanton's court, it seems.

The San Francisco Giants appear to be the leader in the derby to acquire Giancarlo Stanton after meeting with the Miami Marlins slugger's representatives, but the St. Louis Cardinals may be next in line.

Stanton, of course, has a full no-trade clause. Stanton grew up 15 miles from Dodger Stadium, and it's believed he'd prefer to play in his hometown for the National League champs.

According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Marlins have "agreed to general framework" of deals with both the Giants and Cardinals.

The Marlins, under the direction of CEO Derek Jeter, are looking to unload Stanton and the $295 million owed to him over the next decade - among other players - as the new ownership group reshapes the roster and attempts to get the organization's finances in order. The Dodgers are enamored with Stanton's power, but are concerned about the luxury-tax implications of trading for him.

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By all accounts, the Giants and Cardinals remain the most aggressive pursuers, but Stanton is believed to be holding out for the Dodgers to make a realistic push.

The Dodgers' best bet might be waiting for Stanton to force the Marlins' hand, if Los Angeles is in fact his preferred destination, and to take advantage of Miami's desperation to unload as much of that contract as possible.

If it comes down to the Giants and Cardinals, then we're by far the favorite.

The Giants had the majors' fewest home runs, and Stanton led the majors with 59 and won the NL MVP award. Second baseman Joe Panik has also been mentioned.


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