Yankees: Don’t expect Giancarlo Stanton to opt-out
By Derek McAdam
Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton won’t be opting out of his contract
Giancarlo Stanton will be entering the sixth year of his 13-year, $325 million contract signed before the 2015 season and is faced with a decision at the end of the season.
Stanton’s contract has a clause that allows him to pursue free agency after he turns 30, which will take effect on Nov. 8. If he were to opt-out of his lucrative deal, he would walk away from a guaranteed $208 million with a possibility of another $25 million in 2028.
In 176 games with the New York Yankees, Stanton has hit .277 with 41 home runs and 113 RBIs. Most of these numbers came during the 2018 season, as he dealt with shoulder and knee injuries during the 2019 season, only appearing in 18 games. He has been able to put up respectable stats, but there is more to it than what he can do at the plate.
To begin the 2020 season, Stanton would have seen himself on the IL for the seventh time in his career after suffering a calf strain in just two plate appearances during Spring Training. He would have seen another season in which he did not play over 150 games.
Stanton has also seen less of the field and more of being an everyday DH. In 158 games in 2018, he started 86 games in the DH slot. Although the Yankees outfield was commanded by Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Brett Gardner, Stanton’s contract suggests that he should be playing the field daily.
Many free agents may see their values drop due to the shortened season. Mookie Betts is expected to lead the class and was initially believed to cash in this off-season with a contract well over $300 million. Because of the shortened season and decreased revenues for owners, Betts will not get his big contract this off-season.
Stanton would be in the same boat as Betts. He would not be able to get an eight or nine-year contract with any team, regardless of if there was a shortened season. His injury history and age would prohibit that from happening.
No National League team would be too interested in acquiring Stanton for a long-term contract since he is not a reliable fielder. Stanton’s fielding statistics are not horrible, but his body may not be able to handle the field daily. No team is going to dump $200 million towards an injury-prone player who can only DH.
Yankees: Selecting the ideal Opening Day lineup
With so many options throughout the organization, what is the best New York Yankees lineup one through nine when everyone is healthy?
In the end, it is up to Stanton on whether or not he believes that he is worth more than $208 million. But he knows that he can play for a contending team for several years to come and also get a hefty paycheck for the next eight years from the Yankees while mostly playing as a DH.
So no… do not expect him to leave the Yankees this off-season.