New York Yankees: 3 worries about Giancarlo Stanton
New York sent Starlin Castro and prospects to Miami for the big-time slugger.
The “Evil Empire” is officially back in the Bronx with the New York Yankees acquiring the 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins.
The Yankees sent second baseman Starlin Castro, along with prospects Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers to Miami. In return, the Bombers get the slugger and the remainder of the $265 million left on his contract.
Adding Stanton to the Yankees already legit, young, homegrown line-up certainly brings the expectation to win now back again. It also allows the haters, who actually acknowledged respect for the 2017 team, back to hating again two-fold.
Still, I believe there are a few details here that might be getting brushed aside.
In his eight years in the bigs, 28-year old Stanton has only played 150 games twice.
Stanton suffered from knee surgery in 2012, a hamstring strain in 2013, an unruly fastball to his face in 2014, a broken hand in 2015, and a hip issue plus Grade 3 groin strain in 2016.
Size could play a part here, as Stanton is HUGE, standing at 6’6 and weighing 245 lbs. and he isn’t going to shrink – – so not much can be done do about that.
He was certainly pegged as “injury prone” in Miami. So let’s hope he leaves that bug down there. August has been his achilles heel. Keep an eye on Stanton come late summer.
Some would label this nitpicking, considering in 2017, Stanton hit 59 homers with 132 RBI and a slugging percentage of .631, but you cannot ignore his 163 strikeouts either.
Stanton’s strikeout rate last season was his lowest at 23.6%, which is still above league average of 21%. His career strikeout rate average is 27.7% a season. This translates to over a quarter of his at-bats ending with a whiff.
This inconsistency keeps Stanton from entering that legendary-hitter’s club, which requires a .300+ batting average to join. Stanton’s career batting average stands at .268.
In November of 2014, Stanton inked the biggest deal in MLB history, 13-years for $325 million. The contract has a full no-trade close and he can opt out to become a free agent in 2020.
Here is the run-down of salary amounts for the 13-year contract (baseball-reference.com):
Stanton has only been paid $30 million over the first three seasons of the deal, as this contract is backloaded. This leaves $295 million remaining of which the Yankees are taking on $265 million. Now my guess is that in 2020, at the age of 30-years old, that opt-out clause is not even going to cross Stanton’s mind.
As realistically, what other team can or will make an offer to match this current contract?
If Staton doesn’t exercise the opt-out, the Marlins do pay the Yanks $30 million to off-set the salary rise but it is still a huge salary to carry for a player who might not be more then a DH earning $32 million.
Also keep in mind that Yankees youth movement will only be under team control a few more seasons before they can get paid.
And all this time I recall owner Hal Steinbrenner once stating, “I believe that you don’t have to have a $220-million payroll to win a championship.”
Ironic isn’t it.