Trading Giancarlo Stanton actually might be impossible for the Yankees

Thomas Carannante
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees looks on before batting in the second inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 23, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees looks on before batting in the second inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 23, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Remember a few weeks ago when we wondered if the New York Yankees would consider trading Giancarlo Stanton this offseason in order to create more flexibility to keep Aaron Judge and add better pieces around him?

Well, it’s our fault for wondering, and then forgetting about one very important detail that might make that possibility almost impossible.

Stanton has a no-trade clause! He would have to approve any deal the Yankees had on the table … if the Yankees could even get one there.

You see, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (subscription required) reminded us of a very important tidbit from back in 2017 when the Marlins were in the process of trading the reigning NL MVP. At the time, Stanton reportedly made it known he’d only approve a move to the Astros, Dodgers, Cubs or Yankees.

For starters, the Astros are not making that trade at this moment. Neither are the Dodgers, who have payroll concerns of their own with more important upgrades on the horizon. And the Cubs have come crashing back down to earth, so there’s no reason for Stanton to green light a deal to Chicago.

Obviously it’s possible other contenders in the present day emerged as attractive landing spots for Stanton … but who would they be? The Guardians aren’t doing this. The Mariners aren’t doing this. The Blue Jays, Braves, Mets, Phillies and Cardinals probably aren’t, either. The only remote possibility is the San Francisco Giants, which was remote back in 2017, too.

Turns out … the Yankees probably can’t trade Giancarlo Stanton

Locked into the DH role until 2027, enjoy! Another indictment on general manager Brian Cashman, who decided to instead inherit Stanton’s $325 million contract that took him through his age-38 season rather than waiting one more year to bring in either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, both of whom were younger and had fewer injury concerns. Or, you know, Cashman could’ve just added one of them in addition to Stanton! But he didn’t.

Now, after Stanton was limited with injuries yet again in 2022, finished with career worst numbers in OPS (.759), OPS+ (113) and strikeout rate (30.3%), and once again showed he’s unable to play defense on a regular basis, it’s hard to believe anyone would be willing to absorb the remaining five years and $130 million on his deal (it’s actually $160 million, but the Marlins are paying the Yankees $30 million). That’s a $26 million AAV, which isn’t a bad hit, but it’s not exactly a bargain.

Whether this was being considered by the Yankees or not, it’s important for fans to know that it’s probably not feasible anyway since we know some were hoping for it. As much of an affable and accountable figure as Stanton is, he hamstrings this lineup being unable to play defense and leaves a lot of fans wondering what could’ve been had he not missed 260 games since 2018.

Again, not his fault. He had a well-documented injury history the Yankees seemingly opted to ignore. For all those still frustrated with Stanton — and others feeling the same with Isiah Kiner-Falefa — it’s time to direct that anger toward the front office, who followed through on these decisions despite the countless warning signs.

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