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Rosenthal: Now is the time for Miami to trade Giancarlo Stanton

I wish the Miami Marlins would read -- and heed -- the advice Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal offers about the future of slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

The scribe writes that there is simply no way that the Fish will keep Stanton long term. Even if they were willing to give him the kind of money it would take to keep him in south Florida, Stanton has said he wants to play for a winner. And there is little indication that the Marlins are inclined to add the other expensive pieces it would take to field a consistently competitive club.

So that makes it a matter of when Miami must deal Stanton, not if.

"The Cardinals would forget they ever heard of David Price," Rosenthal writes about what would happen if Stanton would hit the trade market. And I'm sure he'd be correct.

Stanton is the perfect player for the Cardinals to target because, not only would he help the team now, he'd be a piece to build around for the future. He'd lead an offense sorely lacking power and explosiveness. He'd also make it easy to part with top prospect Oscar Taveras because they play the same position and there isn't much difference in their ages.

What the Cardinals and Marlins would be trading is places on the timeline. The Cardinals would get accomplishment in place of immense potential. The Marlins would get additional years of control and could thereby turn back the clock on Stanton's escalating salary and pending free agency.

Of course, the Marlins aren't going to trade Stanton for Taveras straight up. But they'd probably love to have one of St. Louis' major league ready starting pitchers, Shelby Miller or Carlos Martinez. And, if I was Cardinals GM John Mozeliak I would enthusiastically pay that price, plus an additional minor league prospect.

The Marlins insist Stanton isn't available. But they could realize an impressive bounty from the Cardinals if he was. And now is the time. Once the Redbirds deal away part of their clutch of prospects, the window of opportunity to trade for Stanton will be closed, like it or not.

The addition of a top pitcher like Price would sure make the Cardinals better this year. But Stanton could be the face of the franchise for a decade. He'd certainly be the better catch.