Adding Stanton works for the luxury tax threshold
As for the players that the Yanks are giving up, the only significant name leaving town is Starlin Castro.
At 27, having already spent eight seasons in the majors, we’ve likely seen the best Castro has to offer. While he’s still very good with the stick, his defense has always left a lot to be desired — hence the move to second base in 2015, while still with the Cubs.
Set to earn $38.7 million through 2020 (a $1M team buyout before ’20 does exist), the Yankees needed to shed some salary to stay within Hal Steinbrenner’s goal of falling below the $197 million luxury tax threshold for 2018. And since the Marlins wouldn’t budge on taking Jacoby Ellsbury in return, Castro’s contract was next on the chopping block.
With the Marlins sending $30 million to the Bronx, Stanton’s salary in ’18 is off-set at $22.7 million. Subtract Castro’s $8.6 million, while throwing in a league minimum replacement at second base, and the Yanks will somehow manage to spend the same amount they did on Matt Holliday and Castro combined, last season.
Hence the luxury tax threshold is still safe — and capable of adding a free agent arm for the rotation.
Giving up on No. 9 prospect Jorge Guzman isn’t something that was going to derail this trade. At 21, having never pitched above Short-A, Guzman has a long way to go before he’s considered big league ready.
Though he has an Aroldis Chapman-like fastball, Guzman’s control and secondary pitches lack consistency. With Justus Sheffield, Domingo Acevedo and Albert Abreu all ahead of him in the pecking order, Guzman was expendable.
The same can be said for Jose Devers (cousin of Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers), who only managed to hit .246 in the Gulf Coast League this past summer.
Opening up second base for the top overall prospect in baseball, Gleyber Torres, is also a wise move.
Though Torres still needs to prove he is fully recovered from last season’s Tommy John surgery, splitting Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade at second base until Torres is prime, allows for a plan of succession that includes No. 5 prospect Miguel Andujar claiming third base, once Chase Headley’s contract expires next offseason.