After weeks (months? years?) of fretting about whether the Yankees will be able to find a buyer wild enough to entertain a 60% off Giancarlo Stanton trade, or when the DFA Hammer will finally come down on the former All-Star slugger, it's refreshing to read the opposite take. Even if, in the Year of Our Lord 2023, said take sounds extremely misguided at best.
No New York insider has been quite as plugged in as Andy Martino ever since he started working on his secretive book about Brian Cashman's regime. Martino had the Yankees out on Corey Seager first, when the logic winds were still blowing in the opposite direction. He pegged their IKF interest, too. He's, helpfully, been consistent on the Yoshinobu Yamamoto front this offseason, as the Japanese right-hander has appeared to emerge as the Yankees' top priority (unfortunately, he's also everyone else's).
So, when he talks Yankees, you should probably listen, at least to play detective if you don't feel like believing at face value.
Which leads us to Martino's Giancarlo Stanton take from an appearance Sunday night. Instead of throwing in the towel on the diminishing Yankee, Martino believes in a motivated Big G in 2024. What does he know? Has he seen Stanton's Driveline membership card first-hand?
Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton...Comeback Player of the Year?!
As detailed earlier in the offseason (with fingers heavily crossed), Stanton still has the fastest recorded bat speed in MLB, even though it's dipped several miles per hour from his ridiculous peak a few years ago. Bat speed itself doesn't lead to great results (he's ranked atop a leaderboard that also includes Franchy Cordero), and Stanton's pitch recognition has never been one of his defining strengths. His approach needs a retool that best utilizes the powerful traits he still does have; otherwise, 2024 will be another year of one-handed swings over sliders in the other batters box's dirt.
Driveline, or a similar training program, could help fine-tune his swing and take advantage of whichever innate skills have yet to recede past the point of disrepair. If that's the Stanton the Yankees are getting in 2024 -- the "eff you" Stanton, the "I've got one more in me" Stanton, the "how dare you say that to my agent, who also happens to be Yoshinobu Yamamoto's agent" Stanton -- then Martino might just be right. And such a thing might also lead teams like the Dodgers and Angels to reconsider Brian Cashman's biggest payroll anchor, if it comes to fruition.
See? What did we tell you about playing detective with Martino's takes?