The Miami Marlins cleaned house rather abruptly when they sent many of their biggest stars to Toronto in exchange for some young talent. Many fans, especially in the Miami area, were none too pleased with the likes of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio being traded to the Blue Jays. The Marlins received seven players in return, three of whom are prospects, along with nearly $160 million in salary relief. Not only were the fans upset, but their young slugger, Giancarlo Stanton is the only remaining superstar on a team that will undoubtedly be the NL East basement dwellers for years to come.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reported back Nov. 14 that Stanton took to Twitter voicing his opinion about the trade,
“Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple.”
There are differing reports stating that Stanton demanded a trade, but it’s difficult to believe the Marlins would trade their final seat-filler, especially a player who is only 23-years-old. ESPN reports that the Marlins will listen to offers, but they aren’t actively shopping the young slugger, according to the team’s assistant general manager Dan Jennings.
So as Yankees fans, what are we to make of this? Sure the Yankees have signed Ichiro Suzuki to play RF for them. They are in dire need of a right-handed power bat to help balance out the lineup. They are also looking for cost-controlled major league-ready talent to keep payroll under the vaunted $189 million threshold in 2014. Stanton is both a right-handed power hitter AND he’s making peanuts despite his numbers as he’s not eligible for arbitration until 2014, where he’ll likely get a decent pay raise (Think Ryan Howard-type raise through arbitration)
Let’s take a look at some numbers real quick. In his three-year career he holds a .270 /.350 /.553 slash line, with 93 home runs and 232 RBI. He’s in much of the same mold as Curtis Granderson in that he’ll strikeout a ton (averages 188 K’s per year or 28.8 percent K-rate), but he’ll create runs at a great clip (140 wRC+) and put himself in position for others (.383 wOBA). Couple that with good defense (11.7 UZR/150 and 10 DRS) and you’ve got a bonafide superstar who’s “available.”
Now the question isn’t his legitimacy as a superstar, but whether the Yankees have the pieces to acquire him. First, the reason Toronto was able to obtain all those players from the Marlins was because who they were giving up were young, inexpensive pieces who could contribute in next season or in 2014. The Yankees have no such cache of players currently on their roster or in their system. Marlins need everything, but pitching is top priority and the Yankees only have spare parts like Ivan Nova, David Phelps, and Phil Hughes at the major league level. None of which are centerpiece-type players in a blockbuster deal. Furthermore, their best pitching prospect, Manny Banuelos is on the shelf in 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery, while the rest of their positional talent is still playing low minor league ball.
Many are clamoring for GM Brian Cashman to go out and get Stanton, but the Yankees literally have no pieces to offer in return. What they do have are older players who are expensive, which is the exact opposite of how the Marlins run their team. Barring a miracle, the Yankees will not see Stanton in Yankee pinstripes in 2013.