Can Dodgers save Yankees with Giancarlo Stanton trade if they whiff on Shohei Ohtani?

Texas Rangers v New York Yankees
Texas Rangers v New York Yankees / Al Bello/GettyImages

The short answer is "no." The long answer is "maybe ... please?" But until the New York Yankees see a discernible improvement in Giancarlo Stanton's play, it's hard for fans not to fantasize about his departure by whatever means necessary.

Over his last 100 games through Tuesday's action, Stanton is hitting .172/.264/.410 with 124 strikeouts. He has a 47.3% ground ball rate. He's been gradually struggling to hit fastballs more and more. He's clogging up the Yankees' DH spot with lackluster production, all the while making manager Aaron Boone's job harder and wrecking any shot at lineup flexibility.

Though we certainly sympathize with Stanton because he's a self-aware guy who is always accountable for his poor play (and even his injuries!), we'll probably stand by the take that this trade should've cost Brian Cashman his job, especially after the shortened 2020 season.

Even with the Marlins subsidizing some of Stanton's contract, with Aaron Judge, Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodón in tow for the foreseeable future, there's just no way the Yankees can properly conduct business the way they want to with Stanton on the payroll at $26 million per year through the 2027 campaign.

Do we think anybody would be willing to take a chance on Stanton, perhaps in an offseason trade, if the Yankees eat some of the money? This roster cannot feature below-average versions of Stanton, DJ LeMahieu and Josh Donaldson beyond 2023. Two of those guys will have to go.

Can Dodgers help bail Yankees out of Giancarlo Stanton's contract?

Andrew Friedman on Line 1 in the offseason? Time for Brian Cashman to call the Los Angeles Dodgers when the time is right.

Why the Dodgers? For a few reasons, some of which were detailed in The Athletic's latest Yankees mailbag:

"Before the Yankees traded with the Marlins for Stanton in 2017, he rejected deals that would have sent him to San Francisco and St. Louis. At the time, he reportedly was only interested in playing in the Bronx or for the Dodgers in Los Angeles, near where he grew up. So, if you’re talking about trading Stanton, you start with the Dodgers. And you figure that any team taking Stanton wouldn’t want to pay him nearly what the Yankees are paying him, considering his recent injury history, how he might be best served as a full-time DH to keep him healthy and his inconsistent performance. The Dodgers aren’t going to trade for him right now, especially as they hold out the hope that they can lure Ohtani in free agency."

Brendan Kuty, The Athletic

Not only that, but the Dodgers are famous for taking on struggling/oft-injured veterans and turning them around, especially at a discount. After the 2023 season, Stanton will be owed $24.5 million AAV through 2027 (that includes the Marlins chipping in $30 million). So what if the Yankees offered to contribute another $30 million? That would bring Stanton's AAV down to $17 million over that span.

This, of course, would probably only be under the condition of the Dodgers missing out on Shohei Ohtani in free agency. If they sign him, he's their full-time DH. If they whiff on him, they're going to need more star power in LA, with guys like Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías potentially gone after this season. LA will have plenty of money to spend if that's the case.

Again, the answer is probably "no," but fans should keep track of the Dodgers' moves in the offseason. LA might be the only destination Stanton would approve a trade to, and the Dodgers might be interested if they need a big name or two at a discounted price.