One thing I've learned as I've grown up in this business is: When Jim Salisbury speaks, people listen. The man is more plugged into the Phillies' intentions than anyone in the city, so when he writes that Giancarlo Stanton remains an organizational target, it's safe to believe that is the case, no matter how unrealistic a deal may seem.
It would take a metric ton to acquire Stanton in an intra-division trade. He's 23, hasn't gotten expensive yet, is built like Khal Drogo and hits baseballs a million feet. Salisbury rightfully points out that the Phillies don't have as much young talent to offer as other teams, but he also points out that the Phils have already placed calls to Miami and have "let it be known they want to speak with the Marlins when and if they decide to move" Stanton.
The thinking here is that a deal would obviously cost Jesse Biddle and probably much more. Maybe something like Biddle, another young pitcher like Adam Morgan or Jon Pettibone, a slick young fielder like Freddy Galvis and a legitimate difference-making bat -- which the Phillies may or may not have on the farm.
And even that might not even get something done, because every team in the league covets Stanton and plenty of others have more to offer.
You also have to ask whether a move like that makes sense for the Phillies, a team that already ranks toward the very bottom of most outlets' minor-league rankings. A move for Stanton would mean the Phillies are all-in, and it's hard to say whether that's the best course to go with this team.
In any event, Salisbury is planting the Stanton seed if and only if the Phillies are buyers. If they're sellers, they'll have plenty to trade. Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Jimmy Rollins (who was apparently in play last July), Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz top the list. He even mentions Delmon Young in that list.
As last season showed, no trade is meaningless. The Phillies acquired two intriguing pieces for Jim Thome. The Shane Victorino deal directly brought in Ethan Martin and indirectly led to the Michael Young deal.
A lot to think about on a Friday.