Stanton has a no-trade clause as a part of his contract, giving him the ability to accept or decline any deals the Marlins agree to with another team.
Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill addressed the no-trade clause Tuesday and acknowledged he had an idea of Stanton's preferences, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"I do have a sense, and we’ll keep that internally. At the appropriate time we’ll discuss what we need to discuss. ... With the whole trade process, there are rumors out there—and there have been a lot of them—I didn't speak to the media until last week but he was traded 15 million different places. We work internally. We do what we need to do, and if we need to present him with something, we will do so at the appropriate time."
The fact Stanton can revoke any deal is another complicating factor in an already complex situation. Stanton also has 10 years and at least $295 million remaining on his contract, meaning any team that trades for him may want the Marlins to absorb some of that cost.
On the other hand, Stanton is coming off an MVP-level season that saw him hit .281 with 59 homers, 132 RBI and 123 runs. The Marlins won't want to give away their superstar on the cheap—huge contract or not.
Thus, it isn't surprising that it already appears there is a disconnect between the Marlins and interested teams when it comes to the potential compensation for Stanton, as Buster Olney of ESPN noted:
And given that the Marlins want to cut their payroll back to $90 million, they won't be interested in taking back anything other than prospects in a deal for Stanton. That could leave a team like the Red Sox out in the cold anyway.
As Jennings wrote, "Trading for Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, Drew Pomeranz and Tyler Thornburg has left the minor league system relatively bare, and their best remaining trade chips are Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi, two players the ballclub would like to keep in the lineup."
The Cardinals have more prospects to work with, including a stable of young outfielders. But it's a moot point if Stanton isn't willing to play in St. Louis.