Giancarlo Stanton may or may not play for the Yankees this year. His rehab is progressing but at a slow rate. The team is cautious. There’s a good reason why…
Giancarlo Stanton came to the Yankees as a lark. Surrendering only Starlin Castro as a player of import to the Marlins new owner Derek Jeter, Brian Cashman couldn’t say no. After all, he’s the GM of the New York Yankees, the most valued franchise in all of baseball with money to burn and owners who don’t mind spending it.
Coming off a season in which he won the National League’s MVP, the Stanton trade reproduced cries pronouncing the Evil Empire in the Bronx. Those damn Yankees did it again. Who’s going to stop them now? With Stanton joining Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in a power-laden lineup, how can the Yankees not win it all in Stanton’s first season wearing the Pinstripes?
Well, we know the history on that as the Red Sox showed everyone who’s boss in 2018. In 158 games for the Yankees, Stanton had a good season but nowhere near the caliber of his MVP year. He batted .266 with 38 home runs and 100 driven home. This year, Giancarlo Stanton has been AWOL in all but nine games for the Yankees.
Stanton played the first three games of the season and went on the IL with a strained left biceps. A shoulder issue required a cortisone shot and while on a minor league rehab assignment on May 20 Stanton suffered a left calf problem. Activated on June 18, Stanton played in six games before going back on the IL.
He’s been there ever since. In his absence, the Yankees have played as if they don’t miss him at all. The team is a runaway in the AL East and challenging for the best record in all of baseball which, if they can earn that title, will give the team home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Facing The Truth About Giancarlo Stanton
The truth of the matter is that the Yankees don’t miss Stanton because they don’t need him. He is a surplus outfielder and DH, and a costly one at that. Even if Stanton completes his rehab, there is no assurance he will also make the Yankees postseason roster.
Brian Cashman will do everything in his power to trade Giancarlo Stanton during the offseason. He will do it when Stanton is as healthy as he will ever be, with a straight face telling interested teams, “We saved him for you”.
According to Baseball Reference, Stanton has $234 million in salaries coming to him. At 29, he will play his final game in the big leagues at the age of 38. There’s a fat chance of that happening given Stanton’s penchant for injuries.
Other teams know that and Cashman can’t pretend he doesn’t know it as well. Thus, any trade Stanton becomes involved in will be money rich and player poor. A salary dump if you will. This will not be one of those blockbusters in which multiple players are dealt in one swoop.
Scenarios Of A Possible Trade
The trick for Cashman is to find a team with both the resources to take on a good portion of Stanton’s salaries, and secondly, to couple the financial side with a team’s need for a power-hitting outfielder.
Almost immediately, all National League teams operating without the DH are eliminated. So, that leaves the American League. The initial question has to be who has the money and are they willing to spend it?
The Red Sox are natural to be interested, especially if J.D. Martinez opts out of his contract. Coming off a disappointing 2019 season, the team needs a boost. But Boston is already mired in their free-spending ways of the past, and they will likely be one of the few teams forking up luxury tax monies this year.
The White Sox – maybe. The Chicago team lost out in last year’s free-agent supermarket that included Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. But the team is looking like they already have the pieces needed to be a severe contender in the AL Central as soon as 2020.
Minnesota, Cleveland, and Tampa Bay could have an interest, but their market is too small. Among the Royals, Tigers, and Orioles – well – they’re not finished tanking yet.
Look To The Left Coast
Which brings us to the Los Angeles Angels where Giancarlo Stanton can very well be wearing the halo cap in 2020. Stranded in fourth place in AL West Division, the Angels are a full 26 games behind the Astros at 65-76. The team hasn’t won anything since 2014. Nevertheless, the franchise has drawn three million or more fans to their ballpark every year since 2003.
John Carpino, the Angel’s President Of baseball Operations, has the money to spend and the privilege of working for owners who have a desire to win. According to Spotrac, the Angels have no tax bill for 2019, and they have $38,236,991 before they reach the luxury tax threshold.
Plus, the excellent news is that in 2020 they are projected by Spotrac to have $69,305,952, almost double the asset they have this season. The Angels can afford to have two Giancarlo Stanton’s if they so desired.
The Second Hurdle – Who Needs Stanton?
That clears the first hurdle. Now, on to the second one. Do the Angels require Stanton in their lineup? You bet they do. The team has rewarded the best player in baseball today in Mike Trout with the most significant contract ever in the history of the league. Trout expressed his loyalty to the Angels by signing the deal when he could have used his free agency in 2020 to move to a winning team without losing a penny.
It’s time for payback now. And the Angels know it. Angels fans, the team, and Trout himself do not want to see his career-ending as Ted Williams did, with no titles and more importantly, no national stage to exhibit those incredible talents he has.
Coupling Stanton together with Trout back-to-back in the Angels lineup, along with Andrelton Simmons, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton, and Kole Calhoun – and voila – you have something to cause considerable concern for other teams in the league.
Like most teams, the Angels lack pitching, which is also the bane of the Yankees. If necessary, Cashman may need to dig into the Yankees stock to appease the Angels with a pitcher from the Yankees farm system.
Win-Win For Both Teams
But, so what? The trade benefits both teams. For the Yankees, they rid themselves (of most – TBD) of a boatload of owed monies and a player they are proving they don’t need.
Brian Cashman has done the impossible before. The task of trading Stanton is a daunting one. But if we’ve come to know anything about Cashman, it’s that he most likely already has the scenario of a trade planned out. Watch for the execution…