Derek Jeter is about to take on the best slugger in the majors in his prime.

Yet, Giancarlo Stanton will present Jeter with his first great challenge heading the Marlins baseball operations, assuming the sale to the group led by Bruce Sherman and Jeter is approved by the other owners.

Stanton is 27. He just might hit 60 homers this year. He should be among the game’s most marketable stars.

But the combination of his injury history, size of his contract and the financial plight of the franchise make Stanton at least as great a liability to incoming ownership as an asset.

Consider that Stanton in the midst of his greatest season just passed unclaimed through waivers. Any team could have claimed him and perhaps in their monetary distress the Marlins would have said, “Take him and the 10 years at $295 million he is owed after this season.” No club was willing to risk that.

I proposed to several executives that the Phillies should have done so and forced the Marlins to make a decision because: 1) They have almost no future financial obligations and have a history of running large payrolls. 2) Their rebuild has not gone well and Stanton could be a tent pole player to speed up the process. 3) The Philly market might not have the patience to endure much more losing and with the 76ers potentially on the rise this could be bad for the Phillies.