The consensus around baseball circles is that, with an eye toward cutting payroll, the Miami Marlins are going to trade slugger Giancarlo Stanton and his mammoth contract at some point this offseason. And whenever a player of Stanton’s caliber comes up in trade talks, the New York Yankees usually aren’t far from the discussion.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Marlins and Yankees have had a “brief confab” about Stanton, a chat initiated at Miami’s request. Basically, Heyman reports, Marlins GM Michael Hill asked Yankees GM Brian Cashman if the Yankees had any interest, and Cashman responded that he would be willing to listen to what Hill had to offer. It’s little more than due diligence, and lots of other teams are doing the same thing.
The thought of adding Stanton has to be tantalizing to Cashman, but there are pros and cons.
— Imagine a lineup with Stanton (59 home runs in 2017), Aaron Judge (52) and Gary Sanchez (33).
— The Yankees probably have the farm-system pieces to pull off such a deal.
— Stanton has 10 years and $295 million remaining on his MLB-record contract, and Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner said Wednesday it was “absolutely a goal” to get below the $197 million luxury-tax threshold for the first time in the existence of the tax. Avoiding it would free up money to spend on what’s shaping up to be a lucrative 2018 free agent class.
— In Judge, the Yankees already have a power-hitting right fielder.
— While Stanton missed just three games last season, he averaged just 115 games from 2012 to 2016 because of various injuries. That’s a lot of money to spend on a player with a history of ailments.
Derek Jeter, newly installed as the Marlins’ chief executive officer after helping lead the investment group that purchased the team from Jeffrey Loria, seemed to choose his words carefully when speaking to reporters Wednesday at the MLB general managers’ meetings in Florida.
“This is an organization that’s been losing money for quite some time, so we have to turn it around,” Jeter said Wednesday. “How we do that? It’s not clear. It’s easy to point the finger at him because he makes the most money, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the move that’s going to be made.
“We’re here [at the GM meetings] like every other team, trying to figure out how we can make this organization better. No one has come out and said that we are specifically trading Giancarlo Stanton. We’re seeing the best way to make this organization successful, and we want it to be sustainable for a long time.”
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