Despite 2019 being a lost season for Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees have too much invested in the four-time All-Star to lose faith in what he can do when healthy.
Including this upcoming season, the Yankees are married to Giancarlo Stanton for the next eight years and $234 million. While an opt-out does exist in Stanton’s contract at the end of 2020, no one expects the 2017 NL MVP to leave that much guaranteed cash on the table to enter free agency.
Should Stanton stay in pinstripes for the foreseeable future, the Marlins are obligated to fork out $30 million to balance his enormous salary beginning in 2021.
With a full no-trade clause in a pocket, Stanton likely won’t come off the books until 2028 when the Yankees hold a $25 million team option or a $10 million buyout. By then, who knows the level of production the four-time All-Star will still be capable of.
However, if you’re general manager Brian Cashman — or anyone else within the organization, for that matter, you need Stanton to play like its 2018 all over again.
During his first season with the Bombers, Stanton hit .266/.343/.509 with 34 doubles, 38 home runs, and 100 RBIs in 617 at-bats (158 games).
Naturally, we’d love for Stanton to come close to the numbers he put up one year prior with the Marlins, but after 2019, when he suited up just 23 times (including the playoffs), we need to keep a level head about things.
Still only 30-years-old, Stanton was recently quoted as saying that he is “looking forward to reminding the fans of baseball that he’s still an elite player.”
To do so, the two-time Silver Slugger will need to prove that he is fully recovered from the quad, knee, biceps, and shoulder injuries that plagued him last year.
Even still, Brian Cashman realizes the importance of backing his players — especially one that needs it now more than ever. As Cashman recently told SNY:
“I think he’s looking forward to re-establishing the legacy he’s been creating. Injuries have denied him that. Not that he needs more motivation – he’s a very motivated person – but I think he’s looking forward to letting everyone know who he is and what he’s really capable of.
“Obviously, I know what he’ll do if he stays healthy,” Cashman said. “Last year was unfortunate and it took him offline for almost the whole year and playoffs.
“When he’s healthy, he’s going to produce. He’s one of the game’s better players and that’s exciting. Like any player, let’s keep him healthy.”
Whether he’s in left field or DH, Stanton must get off to a solid start this spring, which he can then carry over to a healthy and ultra-productive regular-season. Perhaps then we can stop talking about his contract — and instead, about how important he is to the Yankees’ chances of winning a World Series title.