The Yankees are .500 in August and just got one hit from the best Braves in the MLB. Last place in the AL East is looking more like the new normal every day, and the last AL wild card is slipping further out of our sight.
That means it’s the offseason in August, and we’re starting with a big name: Giancarlo Stanton.
Fans bemoan the Yankees not pursuing either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado in free agency. Things might have been different if Stanton wasn’t available at Sam’s Club pricing in December 2017. And let’s be clear, it was the right move. Starlin Castro and
a bucket of balls The prospects for a reigning MVP are officially “But it’s Zava” territory.
And unsurprisingly, Stanton’s tenure in the Bronx has been plagued by injuries and poor performance. It’s Dave Winfield all over again, but without the durability advantage. Four years, $118 million, and one option remaining, and with the Marlins making $20 million.
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The Yankees need to get younger and find a way to get rid of Stanton, and his albatross contract would be a good start. Catch has a full no-trade clause and would have to approve any deal.
However, if general manager Brian Cashman makes the right pitch, perhaps Stanton could be talked into joining any of the following teams.
Dodgers. The Boys in Blue make sense to Stanton, as do most, if not all, California teams. He’s from nearby Sherman Oaks and might relish the chance to go home. With how aggressive the Dodgers have been with the money, currently housing almost $240 in salary, they could probably be talked into taking Stanton.
Cashman would also like some prospects to return, and the Dodgers have always had strong player development. Even better, there are plenty of talented pitching staff on the farm. If both sides can agree on compensation and drop the money, Stanton has no reason to call off the trade. Especially if the Dodgers are also serious about landing Shohei Ohtani.
Parents. Likewise, the NL West rival Los Angeles Padres could be a good fit for the former MVP. They already have a stacked lineup with Machado and Xander Bogaerts. Ownership also doesn’t seem overly concerned about payroll and won’t hesitate to take on some of Stanton’s contract.
San Diego also has some interesting young prospects. Righty Adam Mazur is throwing five pitches and has just 13 walks in 70.2 innings at Double-A this year. Recent drawee Homer Bush Jr. is hitting .377 in his young professional career and already has a Yankees connection. His father was a fast bowler in the legendary 1998 team.
Doing a trade with San Diego may be more difficult, but it’s definitely worth exploring. And no, the Yankees are unlikely to be able to get Juan Soto in return. Keep dreaming.
Mets. That’s not a very realistic option, especially when you consider that crosstown competitors rarely do business. However, this is more about getting Stanton to waive that no-trade clause and also stay in New York. Add in the Mets rebuild and Cashman has an opening.
What if the veteran GM approached Mets owner Steve Cohen and offered Stanton in exchange for offloading some payroll in Queens? For the sake of argument, we’ll say Jeff McNeil. The odds of the trade happening are a hair above zero, but Cashman should call Cohen and ask him.
Angels. Ohtani’s inevitable departure from Orange County leaves the Halos without a true draw next to Mike Trout. At least until Mickey Moniak proves he’s here to stay. Here, Stanton can return home and also possibly play for former Yankees manager Phil Nevin.
More importantly, Cashman should continue to trade Giancarlo Stanton to the Angels for one reason: owner Arte Moreno might be crazy enough to cover all of the remaining salary. As for returning, Cashman can simply pick who he likes from the scrap heap that is the Angels’ farm system.
Phillies. That deal would be a big gamble, but Cashman can at least ask Phils president Dave Dombrowski. The Yankees should offer Giancarlo Stanton for Kyle Schwarber. Nothing more, nothing less. The deal helps both teams.
The Phillies get Stanton, who essentially provides what Schwarber does but also hits above the Mendoza line. New York is getting a big lefty bat, not to mention a former Cashman trade target. Schwarber won’t hit pretty and will essentially be another Joey Gallo. He will, however, be the opposite of his big lefty predecessor and at least hit consistent home runs.
Dombrowski may also want prospects to offset the cost of an aging veteran. As long as he’s not asking for the entire farm, both sides should make a deal.
Rangers. 20 years after the A-Rod trade, what if the Yankees made another deal with Texas involving Stanton? Money is no object, as with management spending close to $1 billion in free agency over the past two years. Another big bat in the lineup also puts the Rangers atop the AL West.
It also helps that Texas has some interesting prospects, namely pitcher and former college star Jack Leiter. He struggles with walks and could benefit from a change of scenery, preferably with pitching coach Matt Blake. Leiter is also no stranger to New York, having grown up in North Jersey. Al’s father also played for both the Yankees and the Mets.
Texas may not be at the top of Stanton’s list in terms of location, but the Rangers have something special in Arlington. Just sell him with a chance to win.
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