Will Yankees cheap out and consider trading Giancarlo Stanton after late-season surge?

“Wahhhhh this is click bait!” We already hear you. You simply don’t have to read it. We’re not advocating for this, either. We’re just not putting it past the New York Yankees to shed salary in any manner possible, especially with a number of financial commitments on the horizon.

Look what they did at the trade deadline. They couldn’t possibly figure out a way to keep Justin Wilson and Luis Cessa in the bullpen and had to get rid of that $2 million to remain under the luxury tax threshold.

You truly don’t believe if they have a chance to get a $300-plus million contract off the books, they won’t do it? OK. Enjoy your alternate reality.

But now the situation surrounding Giancarlo Stanton becomes one that merits a discussion. From the end of 2018 (because of his poor playoff performance against the Red Sox) until the middle of 2021, fans were calling for his head. They wanted him gone. A permanent DH? Yeah, not worth $325 million.

And did you forget the Bombers were rumored to be considering trading Stanton after that 2018 season? Whether it was true or not, that somehow was leaked to the media.

Why are we even entertaining this? Well, for three reasons. We’ll get into that in a moment, but just listen to this Michael Kay rant if you don’t believe this might be a potential consideration:

Would the Yankees think about trading Giancarlo Stanton this offseason?

  • Reason No. 1: Money. The cost-cutting the Yankees took part in over the last two years was shameful, but it was real. And they didn’t get a home playoff game in 2021 despite being predicted by many to be the clear AL favorites. Throw in the fact Aaron Judge needs to be extended and that they need a No. 2 pitcher, and this really isn’t out of the question.
  • Reason No. 2: Gerrit Cole’s contract. That was fast. The Yankees paid $324 million thinking they would get a top-three pitcher in the game, but some insane circumstances (pandemic season, foreign substance ban, and September injury) have changed the narrative. The Yankees lost the two win-or-go-home games with Cole on the mound the last two seasons and now it’s looking like that $79 million overpay was drastic. They had to pay him. But there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest he was an unshakable ace. And there’s really no way of getting rid of this deal.
  • Reason No. 3: Universal DH. When the dust settles after the incoming CBA nonsense, there will be a universal designated hitter, which will double the potential suitors for Stanton. Previously the field was limited, to, like, single-digits, because there’s no way he was getting dealt within the division or to the Astros, but now big-market NL teams could be interested and we’re sure they would be able to deploy him better and more consistently in the field to make it work.

Honorable mention reason No. 4: The Yankees, in recent years, love to disrupt team chemistry. They shooed Didi Gregorius away and left him with a sour taste in his mouth. Masahiro Tanaka’s free agent situation this past offseason was the latest evidence. Brian Cashman criticized Gleyber Torres after 2020 and heading into 2021, which one could argue affected his mentality. Did you not see what they just did with Luke Voit? How many more examples do you need?

Stanton was the lone driving force on offense last postseason, and he was the only one who showed up consistently on Tuesday night at Fenway Park. Additionally, love him or hate him, he responds to criticism like a champ and always says the right thing when speaking to the media.

Though Stanton’s tenure has largely been frustrating because of his streakiness, in 2021 he proved to be an integral member of the team and displayed resiliency that most of this roster cannot. And since the Yankees have spent a lot of effort over the last five years abandoning the human element of the game, we just really wouldn’t be surprised if they viewed Stanton as a bloated number they have the chance to get rid of.