Giancarlo Stanton: Let’s Face It – Do These Yankees Really Need Him…

Giancarlo Stanton (Photo: Newsday)

The imminent return of Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees lineup is not necessarily a godsend given the Yankees currently thriving outfield… 

It remains to be seen if the return of Giancarlo Stanton to the current Yankees lineup is a curse or a godsend. All those strikeouts in crucial situations with men on base are forgettable memories that give pause to the question – are the Yankees better off without him?

And if they are, can Brian Cashman consummate a deal that is a win-win for both parties with the Yankees and the partnering team maintaining something close to their 2019 team payroll as it stands today? More on that in a minute.

The Roster Crunch Is Coming

The Yankees have a formidable lineup as currently constructed. They can withstand the return of Aaron Judge, but the return of both Judge and Stanton raises concerns as to whether you can have two strikeout-prone hitters, usually hitting back to back.

Writer’s Note

Many readers commented on this pointing out that pitchers are forced to adjust to Judge and Stanton when they’re both in the lineup – sort of an intimidation factor adding stressful pitches and innings. The other side of that remains the volume of strikeouts and not putting the ball in play, which I believe trumps everything as a negative. Thanks to all for the read. Steve Contursi, Reflections On Baseball

The B-Bombers are getting it done. Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez are providing that ole-time power the Bombers are known for. Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres are in double-digits, projecting both on pace to belt 30 or more home runs this season. Aaron Judge almost becomes a bonus.

For obvious reasons, the Yankees are not particularly happy when asked to comment on the impact the return of Stanton and Judge will have on their lineup, especially in the outfield. The only “give” they give is Brett Gardner‘s playing time will be reduced, mostly when the team is facing left-handed pitching.

Left unsaid is what happens to Clint Frazier who, with his quick bat has produced ten home runs and 28 RBI, good enough to finish the season with 30 homers and 75+ RBI’s – if he’s allowed to play. So, where do the Yankees go from here?

By next season, Giancarlo will be one-third through his gargantuan $325 contract that was executed when he was a Miami Marlin. His contract expires after the 2018 season. (Spotrac)

Zack Greinke is in the fourth year of a six-year deal he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, set to expire in 2021. Greinke is owed around $100 million between now and then. (Spotrac)

Clearly, at 29 Stanton has more staying power than Greinke, who is pitching this season at the age of 35. Unlike Stanton who is prone to injury and perhaps built a bit too big for his baseball britches,  Zack Greinke is that bunny who keeps on ticking.

Zack Greinke, Master Pitcher (Source: Baseball Reference)
Zack Greinke, Master Pitcher (Source: Baseball Reference)

As seen above, Greinke shows no sign of slowing down and he immediately fills the Yankees need for a true number one, even when Luis Severino comes back. In four of the past five seasons, Greinke has pitched 200 or more innings, averaging a 15-9 won-lost record.

It’s Not Necessarily About Greinke though…

The point is not necessarily about Greinke. It more about Giancarlo Stanton and whether or not the Yankees can excel without him. All indications are they not only can, but they can thrive without him in the lineup.

Estevan Florial, currently injured, is destined to be in the Yankees outfield for the next decade. Only 21, Florial was scheduled to begin the season at Double-A with a promotion to Triple-A Scranton later in the season, with the chance to win a job next year in Spring Training.

I’m not after a headline. I’m talking sense and sensibility, and what the Yankees can do to cement a team already in place, and to boot in first place atop the AL East – with no hiccups in-between.

There is no way Brian Cashman could have turned down the deal presented to him and the chance to snare the National League’s MVP from novice owner, Derek Jeter. Visions of sugarplums dancing around the one-two-three punch of Stanton, Judge, and Gary Sanchez sold tickets and created millions of print words.

Giancarlo Stanton – The Odd Man Out

But that was then and this is now. Once again, Stanton has a full no-trade clause in his contract, plus an opt-out after the 2020 season. The no-trade thing was overcome once, so why not again?

To be sure, Stanton will not be traded on the cheap, and the Yankees may have to “eat” some of the money owed to him to get what they need, presumably starting pitching. This is a deal if it happens, that will get done quietly with Brian Cashman at the helm, seeking to find that one trade partner needing a star-power player.

I’m not pushing Stanton out of town, but given where the Yankees are sitting now, Stanton should be the odd man out in the Yankees soon-to-be crowded outfield.

Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.

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