Solution to Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton problem is probably a depressing one

The questions will probably answer themselves before too long.

New York Yankees v Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Yankees v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

If Giancarlo Stanton is this now, approaching the age of 34, then the Yankees cannot trade Giancarlo Stanton.

This is not to defend a dissolving Stanton, once one of the game's premier sluggers but now the true "home run or nothing" player he was perceived to be in 2018-2021. It's also not intended to argue he should be kept on the roster to infinity and beyond -- though the $88 million he counts against theluxury tax through 2027 does a pretty good job of that anyway.

Stanton still has the fastest bat speed in MLB, according to Baseball America, though it has noticeably declined over the past few seasons. This data point does not save him, however. Instead, it's the only thing keeping him afloat. Without truly elite bat speed, the mechanics of his approach are susceptible to elite fastballs and breaking balls down and away (and it's still stunning pitchers didn't universally adopt the breakers approach a decade ago).

Plus, Franchy Cordero is second on that list, so what does it really tell us? Sadly, Stanton's slipping closer to the "When He Hits the Ball Hard ... Wow ..." camp, rather than the "He is a Good Baseball Player" crew.

With the winter fast approaching, please use this article to answer your uncle's most rage-typed question:

No, Yankees Cannot Trade Giancarlo Stanton This Offseason

The Yankees struggled mightily in their attempts to rid themselves of Josh Donaldson without a DFA. Donaldson, washed in his later years, posted a 94 OPS+ in 2022 paired with excellent defense. After '22, he only had one more year on his deal. The Yankees eventually had to eat money and send him home midseason, getting nothing in return.

Stanton, in 2023, has hit 24 home runs with a .702 OPS. He rarely, if ever, plays defense, and runs as if something catastrophic has happened to his lower half between swinging the bat and beginning his long journey to first. He is, if anything, less appealing than Donaldson as a player before his contract (four more years!) even comes into play. There is not a team in the game that would entertain a Stanton deal without the Yankees absorbing ~75% of his salary and attaching Jasson Dominguez to the deal. No, not even the Angels. Probably.

At the point of no return New York is currently occupying, they'd be better off with a hands-cleaning DFA or a somewhat insulting suggestion to platoon their former star slugger and have him bat exclusively against left-handers (.265 with a .956 OPS and 7 homers in 73 plate appearances this year).

The sad reality of the situation that nobody wants to acknowledge? The slippage began last season before the All-Star break, but really took hold after Stanton returned from the injury that was nagging him around his MVP turn in the midsummer classic. This season, he has played 96 games after coming up lame while legging out a double in April. Last year, the total was 110. He missed nearly the entirety of the 2019 season battling lower body problems. This trend is unlikely to reverse itself or improve as he ages further.

What do the Yankees do with Stanton? His body will probably answer that question for them before they have to entertain anything unseemly with their 400-homer former star.