Yankees: 4 trade options to replace consistently injured players

New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Trading Giancarlo Stanton

Admittedly, it will be challenging to trade Stanton because of his recent injuries and exorbitant salary. His prowess as an outfielder is limited, and he was mainly used as a DH in 2020. In all likelihood, he will be occupying the DH slot in the batting order for the Yanks in years to come if he remains with the club, playing outfield in rare spot situations.

Of course, if the National League adopts the universal DH, the marketplace will expand considerably, and it will be a lot easier to offload Stanton.

If I were GM Brian Cashman, I would try to trade him to the Texas Rangers for Joey Gallo. Cashman will likely have to agree to cover a portion of Stanton’s salary if he wants to swing this deal. Still, getting rid of a significant amount of that restriction would make such an arrangement worth it.

Gallo can play both center field and right field (he won a Gold Glove in 2020) and has been used as a DH on occasion — and he certainly has some pop. In 2017 and 2018, Gallo hit 41 and 40 home runs and drove in 80 and 92 RBI, respectively. He was an All-Star in 2019 and experienced a mixed year in the shortened 2020 season. He bats left (a significant plus for the Yanks, given their heavy right-handed hitting lineup), is entering his age-27 year in 2021, and will only cost $6.2 million in salary.

Or, Cashman could try to trade Stanton for Franmil Reyes of the Cleveland Indians. A right-handed hitter and DH, Reyes had a slash line of .275/.344/.450 in 2020. He hit nine home runs, drove in 34 RBI, and had a .795 OPS in the shortened season. Reyes will be entering his age-26 year in 2021, earning $575,000 for the season. He won’t be a free agent until 2025. He has a lot of upside and a bright future as a DH.

Another potential trade target is Jesse Winker of the Cincinnati Reds. Like Gallo, he bats left-handed and can play the outfield when needed. He will be entering his age-28 season in 2021 and is a good batter and fielder. In 2019, he pounded out 16 home runs and had 38 RBI in 338 at-bats.

In 2020, Winker slashed .255/.388/.544 with a solid OPS of .932. He had 12 home runs and 23 RBI during the abbreviated season. Winker is due to earn $3.15 million in 2021 and is thus affordable. Winker won’t be a free agent until 2024, too. Perhaps he can be included as part of a package deal for pitcher Luis Castillo, with the Yanks adding another player and prospects along with Stanton for the two players from the Reds.