The presence of Giancarlo Stanton on this year’s Yankees team is a fluke. There was no Brian Cashman plan to make it happen, it just did. As such, don’t be surprised if baseball provides another surprise when Stanton is traded at the end of this season. Here are the reasons behind the heresy of this thinking.
Brian Cashman, General Manager of the Yankees, was never beating the door down in Miami when the rumors started to fly that Derek Jeter, the new COO of the Miami Marlins, would make Giancarlo Stanton his first move to trim salary on the team he inherited. The stars aligned, Stanton agreed to the trade per his contract, and voila, Stanton was wearing the pinstripes.
But if I ask anyone reading this if on December 11, 2017, when they first heard of the trade and didn’t feel some semblance of surprise and shock, I’d have to call that person a bold-faced liar, or at least someone who is not thinking straight.
With that in mind, Stanton does not fall into the same category as someone like Brandon Drury who, according to reports, is someone Cashman had his eye on for years, before finally acquiring Drury in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks this offseason.
Which raises the question as to whether or not the Yankees are fully invested in Stanton for the duration of his contract, which extends (hold on) for another eleven years until 2028, at which time Stanton will be 38 years-old.
This is not the Yankees of today. It’s the Yankees of yesteryear and contracts associated with Mark Teixeria and Alex Rodriguez. Those same contracts the Yankees fought so hard to ride to get to where they are now, as a team resetting the clock on the luxury tax in preparation for the upcoming and well stocked free agent class of 2019.
So here’s the pitch and I’ll make it quick. The Yankees trade Stanton to the Dodgers following this season. And then, using the money saved, they sign both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper during the next offseason.
Giancarlo Stanton is happy to be in New York, and he is not faking any of the enthusiasm we see with his sudden thrust into a situation with the Yankees where he can win something. But reality suggests the same situation exists in Los Angeles with the Dodgers and where he would like to be as his career moves on.
It’s all a question of age and money. Giancarlo Stanton will never get younger, only older. At 28 and for the next three or four seasons, he will be in his prime years of production. After that only lies only a great big question mark, and do the Yankees want to be the team answering that question as to whether or not Stanton ages well and continues to produce beyond his prime?
Manny Machado will be 26 in July, and Bryce Harper will finish this season at the age of 25. Digest that for a second.
Tack on to that the fact that trading Stanton will not cost the Yankees any prospects as he will be the marquee player in the deal with Dodgers. It’s even possible the Yankees could make out by grabbing someone in the Dodger’s equally loaded farm system as a “throw-in” on the deal.
Naturally, things get a bit complicated if the Yankees do indeed get to and win the World Series this year, and Stanton has the year many are predicting he will have. And since the trade of Stanton will need to come first so the Yankees can free up the money, there will be an anxious period between then and when the free agent market opens its door for signings, a la this offseason.
Aaron Judge has already and unwittingly spilled the beans about the Yankees interest in Machado for next season, telling Machado, “Boy, You’d sure look good in pinstripes.”
Judge will be hearing from the Commissioner’s office soon answering to (bogus) tampering charges. And if the Peter Angelos had not closed the door on any deal including Machado with the Evil Empire Yankees this offseason, the Orioles third baseman might well be having some fun in Tampa this spring.
Bryce Harper has sublimely hinted through his agent he would love to wear the Yankees pinstripes at some point in his career. But it’s not likely, especially in today’s market, the Yankees or any other team for that matter will be willing to meet the price of baseball’s first $600 million man, which Harper alluded to earlier in his career.
The wheel spins rapidly and haphazardly on these things in baseball, and all it takes is one serious injury to any of the three All-Stars in question to reset everything. But if you are Brian Cashman, you need to be looking at and preparing for all possible scenarios for 2019 as well as the upcoming season.
With that in mind, Giancarlo Stanton falls within the realm of a chip you have in your back pocket to achieve the goals you have for the Yankees in 2019 and beyond.
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