The New York Yankees will be looking to clear money off the books this off-season, notably offloading the contract of Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks. While they may have to pay a portion of their contracts to another team, they can clear a significant amount of flexibility regarding their funds, which can be directly allocated to Aaron Judge or another free agent acquisition.
However, if the Yankees really want to clear up money for the future, trading Giancarlo Stanton would be the obvious move. The issue is he has a no-trade clause in his deal that makes it incredibly difficult to move the slugger, but there are a few teams who he’d be willing to waive the clause for.
Chris Kirschner of The Athletic believes it would be incredibly difficult to trade Giancarlo Stanton:
Stanton’s full no-trade clause complicates this issue. When he was initially traded to the Yankees, he told the Marlins he would waive his no-trade clause for the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs, in addition to New York. If those teams were still the ones he’d be interested in, the Astros don’t need him and neither do the Dodgers. The Cubs sure could use Stanton’s power, but they’re not close to contending, so why would he go there? The Giants would certainly be interesting if they missed out on Aaron Judge, but there’s no indication he would want to play there.
The Yankees would likely have a hard time moving Giancarlo Stanton:
The Miami Marlins, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs are the only teams Giancarlo would be willing to waive the clause for. His opinion might have changed after spending the last five seasons with the Yankees. He’s set to earn $32 million for the 2023 season, earning that same amount until 2026, when the salary hit drops to $29 million. He will make $25 million in 2027 before a club option for the 2028 season when standing is 38 years old.
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At the end of the day, the Yankees could sign Aaron Judge for close to that number, and considering the 32-year-old Stanton played in 110 games this past season, the injury concerns are starting to mount. He’s barely able to feature as a defensive player, and when he does, there’s always a fear he may succumb to injury.
Of course, that hurts his value, given the astronomical price tag and the fact he just finished the 2022 season, hitting .211 with a 29.7% on-base rate. He did smack 31 homers, but historically, he was slightly above average with a 115 wRC+. That indicates that Stanton was only 15% better than the average player during the 2022 season, and being paid $32 million is certainly an egregious amount for that production level.
The honest truth is that an alternative club may not even see the value in Stanton to acquire him at that price tag, meaning the Yankees would have to send him on his way and pay a significant portion. They are better off retaining him right now, coming off a bad season, and hoping he bounces back and begins to showcase the level of talent general manager Brian Cashman saw in him back in 2018.
The prospect of trading Stanton is almost 0%, but he undoubtedly holds a large portion of the Yankees’ salary space, so the conversation is worthwhile. However, his value is at an all-time low right now as a Yankee, so they may want to boost his numbers during the 2023 season before even considering offloading his deal to another team if he’s even willing to discuss it.