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Giancarlo Stanton has reportedly narrowed the list of places he’d accept a trade, and the two biggest frontrunners have been left off. Per reporting from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Stanton is now focusing on the Dodgers and Yankees—and not the Giants or Cardinals. Craig Mish of SiriusXM reported that the Astros and Cubs were also on the list, though perhaps not quite as high, while corroborating Rosenthal’s reports that San Francisco and St. Louis were absent.

Rosenthal emphasizes that Stanton’s list can change at any time, and neither the Giants nor Cardinals have been permanently eliminated. But it’s still a sign that Stanton is unwilling to mess around here, winnowing down the possibilities that aren’t among his very top choices.

The Marlins’ front office’s main goal right now is shedding salary, but the full no-trade clause in Stanton’s contract means that they can’t just pass him off to whoever’s willing to absorb the most of his mammoth deal. Under contract through 2028 and owed $295 million, the reigning NL MVP can only be traded with his approval, and it doesn’t look like he’s willing to roll over and give it easily. The Marlins will likely have to be willing to take on other unwieldy contracts from a trade partner or to otherwise be more flexible—or, simply, to realize that if they don’t play by Stanton’s rules here, they aren’t likely to get very far.

[The Athletic]