Why the Yankees should/shouldn't trade for Giancarlo Stanton

With the news of Giancarlo Stanton clearing waivers and being available for a trade and the transition in team ownership in Miami, there has been a surplus of speculation of who could be a potential suitor for the fearsome slugger. The Yankees are one team that has not only the money to take on a massive contract like Stanton's but the prospects the Marlins may covet in a deal, which has resulted them in being a possible trade partner with Miami. While the likelihood of a Stanton trade in August is extremely slim, he could be available in the offseason. Two of our staff writers, Spencer Schultz and Noah Clement, have differing opinions on whether or not the team should pursue Stanton. Here is what they have to say:
Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky/AP
Spencer Schultz: Yanks should not acquire Stanton

As a big time baseball fan, I can only help but think of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the same lineup together. These two, the two best power hitters in baseball today and possibly of this generation, could combine for 100 homers with Yankee Stadium being the sight for 81 of their games.

Although at first glance it’s an intriguing thought of having those two in the same lineup together, the Yanks should not pursue Stanton. First, let’s talk about his albatross contract. He’s certainly lived up to that contract this season, earning a trip to the All Star Game and putting on perhaps one of the best power performances we’ve ever seen the past few weeks. His streak of homering in six consecutive games ended Wednesday night, but his numbers at the moment are absurd. He’s currently on pace for 60 homers, which has only been done by six players in MLB history. His 44 homers are by far leading the majors, after Judge has struggled since the All Star break. Judge’s 37 homers though still rank second. Along with the 44 homers, he’s hitting .287 and produced 94 RBIs. His crazy stats don’t stop there, as he’s produced a 5.3 WAR along with a 1.023 OPS and a 165 OPS+. 

So what’s wrong with the contract? Well a few months into the season, people were talking about how he has not been worth his contract thus far, which it is kind of hard to live up to a 13 year, $325 million contract. That was before the hot streak, but let’s be honest, it’s nearly impossible to keep up how he’s been hitting for the past month or so. When he comes back down to earth, he’s considered overpaid. Currently, he’s at that prime age of 27. But in about five years, when he’s 32 years old with six years still left on his contract, it’s likely that he has deteriorated by then. The Yanks would then be stuck with another mega contract for multiple years of a guy’s waning years of his career. With ten years and $295 million left on the contract, it’s not worth it for the Yanks despite their reputation of having more money than anyone else.

The second reason the Yanks should not acquire Stanton is who knows where exactly he would play at the moment. Judge is locked in right field for the time being with his cannon of an arm, although some Yankee fans believe a move to first base would give him more longevity, but a possible move like that is still a few years down the road. Hicks is locked up in center field and yes Stanton could replace Gardner in left, but he’s never really played there so that may not be a possibility. Also, Clint Frazier is likely to take over the left field position permanently in 2018. Stanton’s also posted a negative defensive WAR over the past two seasons, showing he’s an average, at best, defender. The most likely position would be DH, while being able to play RF when Judge rests or is DHing. Switching from playing everyday in the field to DHing is much easier said than done though, as a lot of players aren’t nearly as successful due to their change in routine.  Another concern with Stanton is his known injury history. This will be just the second season in his last five that he’s been able to play in at least 120 games, causing some longevity concerns. This is probably the least of the concerns listed, but it still is another possible risk to getting Stanton.

The last and biggest reason the Yankees should not go after Giancarlo Stanton is the quality of prospects they would have to give up. The Yanks have worked hard to develop the farm system from very weak to the deepest in the majors and a trade for Stanton would be going away from the youth movement plan. The Yankees put a small dent in their farm system this summer by giving up Blake Rutherford, Dustin Fowler, and James Kaprielian along with more underrated guys like Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns, but it’s still regarded as easily the deepest system in baseball and one of the top ones overall, thanks to the emergence of guys like Estevan Florial and Domingo Acevedo. The Yankees would likely have to give up prospects like Florial and possibly one of or both Frazier and Gleyber Torres. Now yes prospects are still unknowns, but giving up guys that are expected to be future long-term starters wouldn’t be smart.

Don’t get me wrong, Giancarlo Stanton is a phenomenal player and arguably the most exciting player in baseball with his moon shots on a consistent basis. With a younger, similar guy in Judge, the Yankees don’t at all need Stanton and it would not be worth all the risks to acquire Stanton, like giving up top prospects, not knowing what position he would play, and his massive contract.

Noah Clement: Stanton and Judge together would be totally worth it

Like Spencer said, envisioning Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the middle of a Yankees lineup that plays 81 games a year in Yankee Stadium is absolutely mind-blowing. It would without a doubt be the most powerful duo in the history of baseball.

Photo Credit: Rich Schultz/AP
However, if you really think about it, neither of their power numbers would really change drastically because of Yankee Stadium. Why? Simply because a majority of the home runs they hit would be out regardless of the fences that confine the field of play. In fact, 20 of Judge’s 37 home runs (54%) literally would have gone out of every single stadium in the major leagues. The average distance of Judge’s home runs travel 415.8 feet. To the contrary, 26 of Giancarlo Stanton’s 44 bombs (59%) would have been out of every major league ballpark. Stanton’s average home run travels 417.1 feet. The two rank one and two for both of those stats. That is truly mind boggling.

Of course it’d be awesome to see that kind of power in the Yankees lineup, but should the Yankees pull the trigger on the opportunity to do so? Yes.

Of course the Stanton contract is absolutely absurd and a lot of Marlins fans say that he hasn’t quite lived up to the money, but there could be a couple reasons why he hasn’t until this year. For example, the Marlins gave him that contract obviously with the expectation that they would be contenders before this year. While the Marlins are a respectable team, they aren't very close to contending. The Nationals are going to run that division for years to come, a healthy Mets team is dangerous, the Braves have a lot of young talent, and the Phillies have spending money out the wazoo (I could actually see them landing Stanton, Harper, or Trout, or a combination of any two of those guys in the near future). I don't care what anybody says, Stanton wants to win. If you put Stanton on a winning team as a leader, he could definitely live up to that contract. Marlins Park averages 20,671 people per game. That’s good for third lowest in the major leagues next to Oakland and Tampa Bay. If Stanton plays in a packed Yankee Stadium with the opportunity to play in the playoffs year in and year out, I think he’ll play better. Also, with guys like Judge and Gary Sanchez protecting him in the lineup, he's gonna get pitches to hit.

Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports

Another main reason why I think the Yankees should grab Stanton is simply because they have the perfect pieces already to create a “dynasty” like team. You’ve gotta assume that Didi, Sanchez, Judge, Hicks, Frazier, Bird, Betances, Severino and Montgomery are going to be around for quite a while. This leaves the Yankees with PLENTY of money for a guy like Stanton. With home grown franchise players like those guys, the Yankees aren’t going to have to go out and spend a lot of money on free agents to field a championship caliber team.

Also, I’d like to sneak this in here. Shortly after the season, Yankees legend Derek Jeter will own the most stock in the Miami Marlins and I think he’s going to want to shed some payroll and build his own dynasty. If Jeter could put possibly the game’s best hitter on one other team, where would he put him? It is something to think about.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the Yankees spending options if they did perhaps want to go out and grab Stanton. Now, Stanton has a full no trade clause, but at this point, it's pretty evident that he could want out of Miami. Stanton wants to win, and he’d probably accept a trade to a place like Chicago, Los Angeles, or the Bronx. If the Yanks were to pick up Stanton and pay his full contract, that would mean the Yankees would sacrifice spending this offseason for a front of the rotation arm. However, with that kind of offense, why not? Another thing the Yankees can do is throw in a couple young guns to boost the Marlins farm system and their rebuilding process. I know a lot of people are going to hate this next sentence, but… The Yankees have a surplus of young talent and they don’t need all of it. Whether you want to believe it or not, the future came sooner than later for the Yankees and they are ready to compete for a World Series. If the Yankees sent a good enough package to lighten Stanton’s price even a little bit, that is very intriguing. If the Marlins would be willing to pick up just a little bit off that contract, I’d go for it if I were Brian Cashman.

The bottom line is the Yankees are ready to win and they’ll be winning for the foreseeable future. Stanton is a once-in-a-lifetime type power hitter. It would be pretty cool to have him along for the ride. Keep in mind, Stanton is only 27. The way he takes care of his body, he could be putting up serious power numbers for the next 10 years without a doubt. If the Yankees do by some act of God acquire Stanton, we could see potentially one of the best offenses in baseball history come 2018-2019.

Article by: Spencer Schultz and Noah Clement


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