1. Trading for Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-Year, $325 Million Deal
At the time the move was cool, but the Yankees had no need for Giancarlo Stanton.
In December of 2017, the Yankees shocked the baseball world when they acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, who had just changed ownership and were looking to clean house. The trade didn’t cost them much at all, but they inherited the largest contract in North American sports history in Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million deal.
Why is that a problem? Well, Stanton is a redundant player in this lineup — the Yankees already have a ton of home run hitters who strike out a lot and don’t make enough contact. Stanton also had well-documented injury issues, and they’ve reached a point where he can’t even play the field now. He’s a permanent $30 million designated hitter.
That gives Aaron Boone much less flexibility with the lineup because Stanton absolutely has to be playing every day if he’s healthy. There’s no way this team can justify benching a $30 million player. Though he had an incredible 2020 postseason, it wasn’t enough to get the Yankees past the ALDS and he’s more of the same in this lineup that needs more variation.
And now that the NL isn’t adopting the DH in 2021, there’s almost no chance the Yankees can rid themselves of this contract. If the Yankees are trying to save money during the pandemic, you can bet every other team will be bending over backwards to avoid any extraneous spending.
Call it bad timing and a lack of foresight, but the Stanton contract has the Yankees in a bind for the next seven years.