The Tuesday Discussion: Giancarlo Stanton and the Future
November 22, 2022
This week we posed the following to our writers:
Our editor-in chief noted in an article on Sunday that he believes it's time to trade Giancarlo Stanton. Should the Yankees try to trade him? What kind of deal do you think the Yankees could make for Giancarlo Stanton? Is there a bad contract for bad contract opportunity out there?
Here are their responses...
Lincoln Mitchell - As much as I do not like the Stanton contract, I would not trade him. The reason for this is that any trade of Stanton would essentially be a salary dump bringing back at best some second tier prospects or mid-level bullpen arms. No team is likely to give up more than that for a DH who just turned 33 years old and is frequently injured. Additionally, while Stanton has been somewhat disappointing as a Yankee, he has been one of the team’s best hitters over the last three years. So, if the Yankees plan is to resign Judge and try to contact in 2023-2025, they could probably use Stanton’s bat. However, if they do not sign Judge, then I would dump whatever I could of Stanton’s contract as part of a larger rebuilding effort.
Tim Kabel - I don't think the Yankees should trade Giancarlo Stanton. I think if he remains healthy, he will be a major force in the offense. After all, he was an All-Star last season. When he was producing and healthy, the Yankees were on pace for 122 wins. I would keep him.
Paul Semendinger - I am sort of answering my own question here, but it would have to be a big contract for a big contract or, more precisely, a bad contract for a bad contract.
As I have stated, I think Giancarlo is now one-dimensional. Yes, he'll hit some balls hard, but he actually looks awful at the plate most of the time. He's also frequently injured and cannot be counted on to play defense. As such, he clogs the DH spot.
Most importantly, he profiles much the same as Aaron Judge. A pitcher with one tool can get them both out with the same pitch selection. We've seen good to great pitchers do this to them both- especially in big games.
If the Yankees could move on from Stanton, they'd need to take on an equally bad contract. I threw out Eric Hosmer and Christian Yelich in my article on Sunday. How about one more?Stanton is signed through 2027...if the Nationals ate some of the contract to make the annual values more equal, how about Stanton for Stephen Strasburg?
(Note - None of these deals will happen, but the ideas still intrigue me.)
Ethan Semendinger - Giancarlo Stanton is going to get paid up to $179,000,000 over the next 6 years (2023-2028) or at least $164,000,000 over the next 5 years (2023-2027) if whatever team has him exercises his $10,000,000 buyout for the 2028 season. That's a lot of money that is going to be going to a player who will be 33 years old in 2023 and 38 by the time his contract ends. So, it is imperative in this hypothetical to find other players whose contracts will be up around the same time, with players who are making similar money.
This narrows the list of potential trade partners down considerably. Of note, I can pinpoint just a few players/teams:
Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers) - 6/$162.5M to 7/$176M Remaining (with loads of deferrals until 2042)
Kris Bryant (Colorado Rockies) - 6/$158M Remaining
Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals) - 4/$140M Remaining (with deferrals until 2029)
Patrick Corbin (Washington Nationals) - 2/$59M Remaining (with deferrals until 2026)
Anthony Rendon (Los Angeles Angels) - 4/$152M Remaining
We'd also have to consider Stanton's No-Trade Clause, of which would negate him being traded to a team not in yearly postseason contention. Add in that the trade should serve to (hopefully) fill a position of need for the Yankees, and that the other team should need a DH bat and our already short list essentially just becomes a 1-1 swap of Christian Yelich for Giancarlo Stanton.
The money is essentially a wash, the Yankees could use a left fielder (and a left-handed bat), the Milwaukee Brewers could use a DH bat, both teams are contenders in their divisions, and both players could use a change in scenery. Everything being considered, I'd do that deal in a heartbeat.
Cary Greene - The most realistic path to moving on from Giancarlo Stanton is clearly in the Dodgers hands. They're reportedly all in on Judge, as are the Giants by the way. Both teams are very serious in their pursuit of Judge, with the Giants purportedly willing to, "Break the bank!" Should the Dodgers miss out on Judge, they may go for a Brandon Nimmo type, but another option for them would be to take on Stanton and his entire contract. I doubt they'd do it, but just maybe, perhaps they see value there and would be willing to play him in right field.
If the Dodgers came calling, I'd be waiting with bells-on if I were Cashman. Especially if Cashman bags Judge. That would set up the perfect storm, the moment most Yankees fans have been waiting for ever since Cashman traded for Stanton in the first place.
Barring a shocking trade to the Dodgers in a salary dump, I don't see Stanton ever leaving the sweet gig he has in New York. With Dominguez and Pereira both projecting as corner outfielders, it would be pretty sweet if the Yankees could unload Stanton and move on, but that creates a huge problem. The free agent market is thin in right field, other than Judge. Unless Judge is signed, the chances of moving Stanton are slim. Sans Judge, who's in right field? Oswaldo Cabrera is not even remotely a replacement for Judge. He's a utility player - a good one too, but please.
James Vlietstra - I don’t think that trading Giancarlo Stanton is a possibility. He is a 10/5 player and has a full no trade clause. He would have to approve a deal and that usually includes him being given a sweetener, like picking up his option year. He’s already owed $160 Million and is coming off a year that he produced 0.7 WAR.
Something drastic would have to happen in which he’s so miserable in New York that he demands a trade. However, that would likely mean that he is playing even worse.
My recommendation is for us to hope that he gets healthy and is able to contribute at a higher rate.
Andy Singer - I, for one, do not think it's particularly realistic to expect a Stanton trade. I think Stanton still has a "dead cat bounce" left in him, as he still hits the ball harder than just about anyone in baseball. However, the stars have to align in some strange ways to make this happen:
The acquiring team has to be willing to take on Stanton for an extended period of time.
Stanton needs to be willing to waive his no-trade rights to go.
The acquiring team likely needs to have a bad contract they want to shed.
The Yankees need to be willing to attach a decent prospect and/or money, even if the aforementioned three conditions are met.
Like Paul and Ethan, I immediately thought of Strasburg and Corbin, but there's no way Stanton is waiving his no-trade clause to go to Washington. Besides, I have very little confidence Strasburg will ever be an effective MLB arm again and I never liked Corbin much to begin with.
We know that Stanton had interest in going out to the West Coast. I don't think the Dodgers are a realistic landing spot, but I suppose stranger things could happen if the Yankees kick in $10+ million per year for the length of the contract and attach an interesting prospect. I'd look to the stupidest franchise in baseball who is still trying to compete despite the fact that it is painfully clear that they need to rebuild: the Rockies.
Why might the Rockies be interested? They signed Bryant to a huge deal last year, and they likely are still willing to add around him. Why would Stanton be willing to go to Colorado? For the same reason the Rockies might be interested - can you imagine what Stanton's power would look like at Coors Field?!? He'd also be playing with Kris Bryant on a team that's trying to win. Plus, it's at least the West side of the country, if not the coast.
The length of the bad contract I'm looking at doesn't particularly work on the surface, but it is at least a starting point - what about Charlie Blackmon? Blackmon has been at replacement level since 2020, but he still has above-average raw power (according to Statcast), makes consistent contact (even if it's soft contact), is left-handed, runs well, and has a rocket arm. Blackmon comes with an AAV of $18.833 million this year, though he is a free agent after the year is over.
Let's get crazy: Blackmon to the Yankees in exchange for Stanton, $12 million annually from 2022-2027 (Stanton's guaranteed contract years), and an interesting, but not premium pitching prospect (someone from the Will Warren/Jhony Brito bucket). The Yankees add money to their Luxury Tax hit in 2023 ($27 million vs. $23 million, assuming the Yankees keep the $3 million the Marlins are sending annually), decrease their Luxury tax hit from $23 million to $12 million for Stanton from 2024-2027, and get a left fielder who is either a stop-gap left fielder who makes contact, with good speed, and the possibility for more as a lefty in Yankee Stadium hitting with the elimination of the shift, or a 4th outfielder with experience. It also gives the Yankees roster flexibility for years to come. I don't think a deal like this is particularly likely, but I think it's a better deal for all sides than anything I've heard proposed on blogs and the rumor mill.
All of that being said, the above really only makes sense if the Yankees keep Aaron Judge. If Judge goes, I think Stanton is your starting right fielder next year...now there's a scary thought.