The Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes have moved beyond the preliminary stage.

The Cardinals have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins for the reigning National League MVP Award winner, a source told MLB.com Sunday. And they are not alone.

MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal first reported that the Giants have submitted an offer to the Marlins, and that a proposal is expected soon from the Red Sox, if it has not come in already.


While details of the Cardinals' offer remained unknown as of Sunday night and the club has not confirmed an offer has been made, its existence revealed the seriousness of the team's pursuit for a power hitter. At a relatively early stage of the offseason, the Cardinals are trying to ascertain the practicality of trading for Stanton -- both in meeting the Marlins' price tag and convincing Stanton to waive his no-trade clause.

The Cardinals have one of the best combinations of prospect depth and financial might of any potential Stanton suitor. The Marlins are prioritizing young starting pitchers in their asking prices for Stanton, sources say, and the Cardinals possess power-armed right-handers Alex Reyes (No. 14 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list; No. 1 on Cards' Top 30 list), Jack Flaherty (No. 47 in Top 100; No. 3 on Cards' Top 30), and Sandy Alcantara (No. 9 on Cards' Top 30).

The Cardinals also have the payroll capacity to add a superstar -- if not now then certainly next offseason, when Adam Wainwright's $19.5 million salary comes off the books and Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson are slated to be available via free agency.