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  • Cary Greene

Giancarlo Stanton: How to Pull the Plug

Christmas Time Thoughts by Cary Greene

December 15, 2023

***

In late October, I quantified how difficult it would be for Brian Cashman to trade Giancarlo Stanton. Given that the Yankees have now acquired Juan Soto, Stanton is no longer needed and his presence mainly serves to clog the DH position going forward.

 

Let’s lead today’s piece with a look-back at that article:

 

….Giancarlo Stanton - Untradable

I hesitate to say any player is untradeable, but over the past few seasons, Brian Cashman has put together a roster with a number of players who despite him actively shopping them, not a single team in baseball wanted any of them….unless they were DFA’d and they could be scooped up for nothing, with the Yankees on the hook for their contracts. If I were Hal Steinbrenner, I’d have already fired Brian Cashman and besides his failing to produce results (meaning a championship), I’d consider Cashman to be guilty of squandering way too much of my money.

 

The time to trade Giancarlo Stanton was after the 2020 playoffs, but now the idea of trading him would involve the Yankees paying ALL of the $98 million he is owed –PLUS– kicking in prospects to offset Stanton’s negative on field performance. Therefore, the Yankees are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Giancarlo Stanton. The only viable path forward is to try to squeeze some more juice from the dehydrated Florida orange rind formerly known as Miami’s 2017 NL MVP. The Yankees will have to continue dressing his shriveled, juiceless self in pinstripes in the hopes that he can contribute something, anything at all.

 

The end is nearing for Stanton and it’s not going to be a pretty sight. A completely unrealistic case can easily be made in favor of trading Giancarlo Stanton, but the reality is that he’s a sunk cost at this point and every GM in baseball knows it.

 

Fangraphs calculated that, if Big-G were a free agent this past season, based on his performance, he would have been worth negative $6.7 million. What GM in his right mind would take on his contract, or even a portion of it, for that sort of negative value? He’s not a viable DH, he can’t hit right-handed pitching any more to save his life (75 wRC+ vs righties this past season) and of course, he can’t stay healthy enough to play the field. Of what use is he going forward?

 

When the soon to be 34-year old Stanton’s player comps are examined, the reasonable conclusions are more bad news for the Yankees, who owe $98 million to Stanton over the next four seasons - with the Marlins also paying him an additional $30 million from 2026 to 2028. Clearly, a player with a contract that has a hefty AAV and who doesn’t perform nearly well enough to justify the spend, is a totally sunk cost. Stanton’s player comps suggest the Yankees will be lucky to get two more years of moderate production from Stanton, after which they’ll probably have to DFA him:


●      Jose Canseco – Amassed 4.4 f-WAR from 34 to 36, after which he retired. Was a PED user too obviously, which may have helped.

●      Jack Clark – Remained productive from age 34 (4.3 f-WAR) and age 35 seasons (2.4 f-WAR) seasons, then the bottom fell out and he retired at age 36 (-0.3 f-WAR).

●      Juston Upton – Retired at age 34 (-0.5 f-WAR)


***


Now let’s move onwards to the point of today’s article. Many Yankees fans are wondering what the Yankees should do with Giancarlo Stanton moving forward. Should he be traded? Will he bounce back for a season or two of acceptable production?

 

Regarding Stanton’s PECOTA Player Comps:

  • During the 1999 season, Jose Canseco was strictly a DH when he was  34-years old. He managed to put up a 2.4 fWAR season with a 121 wRC+ to go along with 34 home runs and 75 RBI’s. The following two seasons his production fell to an average fWAR of 1.0, so suffice it to say, from age 34 on Canseco’s value as a “DH only” type player wouldn’t even justify keeping him on most team’s rosters.


  • Meanwhile, in 1990 when he was 34, Jack Clark started 106 games at first base and he registered  a 4.3 fWAR season to go with 25 home runs and 62 RBI’s while playing fairly solid defense at first base. The following season his fWAR dipped to 2.4, at which point he was basically finished. The reason Clark was still valuable at age 34 was because he was still able to play passable defense and the reason I mention this is because a one dimensional player like Stanton who can’t stay healthy enough to be a viable two-way player is less likely to be able to impact the Yankees going forward.

 

Could Stanton rebound and be a viable DH for the next season or two? It’s remotely possible, but Canseco’s DH-only 34-year old season in 1999 serves as a best case scenario for Stanton this coming season, should he muster the reserve fortitude necessary to rebound from his disastrous and unproductive 2023 season.

 

It's at this juncture that I want to note Stanton’s ZIPS projections, which call for him to have a 0.9 fWAR campaign as a DH only for the Yankees, during which they forecast he’ll hit 27 home runs and drive in 70 runs with a 114 wRC+. Considering he hit 24 home runs with an 89 wRC+ this past season, ZIPS obviously feels he’ll have a modest bounce back this coming season.

 

Considering that the Yankees still owe stanton the whopping $98 million I mentioned above, it’s going to be very difficult for Cashman to find a trade partner who’s willing to made a deal for a player who by the estimates of PECOTA Player Comps is likely to have only two more marginally productive seasons left. Compounding this issue is that Stanton is only a one-way player going forward as he’s not proven he can remain healthy enough to consistently play defense.

 

Being a one-dimensional player has made Stanton a truly undesirable piece, but when his full no trade clause is also brought to bear, it certainly feels like a near miracle would have to occur if the Yankees were to pull off the feat of sending him on a one way trip to Disneyland or elsewhere. This got me thinking, as I said to myself, “Self, is there any possible way the Yankees might be able to trade Stanton despite the issues involved?”

 

Then, as I scoured all sorts of creative ways to offload Stanton, short of simply DFAing him, I came up with what I thought was a remotely feasible solution. The deal I came up with would require a few players, Stanton included, to waive their full no-trade clauses.

 

There exists a middling franchise in California, located far south of prime California wine making counties and thus not an area I’m particularly fond of, known as the Los Angeles Angels -  a franchise with little hope of contending this coming year.

 

The reason I point out the floundering Angels, who have most recently been abandoned by Shohei Ohtani, is that they too have their own version of Giancarlo Stanton, a player who goes by the name of Anthony Rendon (who happens to play third base) and like the Yankees, the Angels would love nothing more than to be rid of him permanently.

 

In fact, the Angels might want to think about entering into a sincere rebuilding phase altogether so with that notion in mind, I’d like to pose a question to our readers this morning.What if the Yankees and Angels put their thinking caps on and came to the bargaining table regarding a wild blockbuster trade designed to better meet the needs of each franchise?

 

In my proposed trade, the Angels agree to send  Anthony Rendon (-84.7 MTV per Baseball Trade Values), Mike Trout (-69.7 MTV), lefty Tyler Anderson (-8.8 MTV) and catcher Logan O’Hoppe to the Yankees.

 

–In Exchange–

 

The Halos receive Giancarlo Stanton (-80.1 MTV), Carlos Rodon (-30.3 MTV, would have to waive his no-trade), DJ LeMahieu (-19.6 MTV) Estevan Florial (0 MTV but a toolsy prospect with potential upside) and a Yankees catching prospect of their choice, either Antonio Gomez (1.7 MTV), Engelth Urina (1.9 MTV) or even Agustin Ramirez (3.3 MTV) if that’s what it took to make this deal work.

 

Anaheim gets rid of Rendon’s bad contract and the sheer cost of the declining Trout (their starting center fielder),  a lefty who was underwhelming last season, and a catcher who is on the rise. They gain a potential top of the rotation ace, a solid starting third baseman who can play all over the infield, the catching prospect of their choice, and a center fielder and a catcher they can dream on.

 

From a MTV perspective and factoring in all the contracts being exchanged, the deal works for both teams. The deal is a tiny overpay on the Yankees part actually, but that’s the price of doing business in a deal with a player like Mike Trout involved. 

 

ZIPS is forecasting Rendon to put up a 2.5 fWAR season with a 114 wRC+. Trout is still an elite talent in center field and will remain so for at least a few more seasons - he’s projected to have a 3.0 fWAR season with a 134 wRC+.

 

Anderson is nothing more than a salary dump throw in, he’s a lefty with a pulse basically and yes, I was high on him two seasons ago so I still see some value in him. And - the player who makes the deal work is actually the 23-year old O’Hoppe. He has 20 HR potential, so for a catcher, that’s not half-bad. He’s a good defensive catcher with the ability to make contact and he may develop into a great long term option to platoon with left-handed masher Austin Wells.

 

If the Angels decide they simply aren’t moving Trout, then a smaller deal might exist here, it may simply turn out being Rendon and an Angels prospect for Stanton, which would achieve my stated objective of moving on from Stanton, while also giving the Yankees a third base chip that might turn out to be helpful.

46 comentarios


Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
16 dic 2023

Just a reminder...

We love respectful comments.

People need not agree on things, but they need to disagree respectfully.

I'm just getting to see some of the comments here and will delete a few.

Be nice.

This isn't difficult.

No name calling.

No insulting.

No profanity.

Etc...

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jjw49
15 dic 2023

Angels are the worst managed franchise in MLB right now.... so maybe one crazy trade is left for them before Moreno sells the team. Pay 1/2 of Stanton's salary, along with Rodon. Florial for O'Hoppe and cash. Trevino could be then packaged along with Torres and Rizzo to Miami for Eurys Perez

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jjw49
15 dic 2023
Contestando a

I'm not saying the Angels should do this trade or would but because they are so dysfunctional with Moreno as owner one can wish right? I look at this trade a little deeper w/ longer term roster construction... Stanton is off roster so DH isn't clogged up. Bellinger is signed to play 1st and CF this year effectively replacing Rizzo. Torres and Rizzo will be most likely not be resigned after 2024 season. Platooning DJ and Peraza at 2nd might not give you Torres production, but downside wouldn't be insurmountable. Perez is young cost-effective pitcher with tremendous upside he replaces Rodon. I would go even further and include Trevino in the Miami trade. Yankees can wait on O'Hoppe and n…

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sfs1944
15 dic 2023

Cary enjoyed your column and liked your proposed trades between the Angels and the Yanks. I also thought a trade of Machado for Stanton and a couple of prospects could get done if SanDiego may want to move some people around to strengthen their team and save some dollars

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sfs1944
15 dic 2023
Contestando a

You just proved my point. Yanks owe Stanton $98 million. Marlins owe $30 million that adds to $$128 million If Stanton gets traded to Padres they would owe him$98 million Using your figures of $17 million for 2years that totals $34 million. One year at$25 million in 2026 brings total to$59 million and lastly using your figure of $39million for the remaining 7 years totals $273 million added to your $59million now equals$ 332 million . By your own count San Diego saves the $332 million minus $ 98 million or $234million.

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cpogo0502
15 dic 2023

It's fun to fantasize about these things but we are stuck with the lease. Stanton isn't going anywhere since no GM in his right mind (other than Cashman) has any interest in a 34 year old one-dimensional guy like him. I said it yesterday and I'll say it again, DFA the guy. It's a sunk cost. Open a roster spot for some young, hungry player who can do the things Stanton cannot.


Prediction: Cashman cannot admit the monstrous error of signing Stanton in the first place. He will be on the roster.


Hope: some GM in a fit of an ETOH-induced brain fart makes a deal for him. We pay the freight but get back some international bonus pool mone…

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fuster
15 dic 2023

Stanton's a Yankee and will remain a Yankee until either his contractual terms are fulfilled or until Stanton decides to make other arrangements.


there's no magic


the Yankees have been down this road with ARod and with Ellsbury


if Stanton can no longer earn playing time, they should no longer give him playing time.


if they want to expend resources in an attempt to foist him upon another team, they must first convince Stanton to agree to be shunted off.


probably better to hang on a little longer and play him part-time

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fuster
15 dic 2023
Contestando a

I expect that they WILL release him, but there's no real hurry.


they can carry 12 pitchers and juggle relievers

or Stanton might pull a muscle


eventually, both the trade deadline and Dominguez' return will approach.

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