New York Yankees: Should the Yankees deal injured players?

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge
New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge

What should the Yankees do with Judge, Sanchez, and Stanton?

Giancarlo Stanton:

There is no question that the New York Yankees have a problem with players that seem to be constantly injured.  First, we speak about Giancarlo Stanton.  Stanton, who on the outside appears to be a very strong and fit player, seems to be made of glass.  Although he doesn’t seem to get very serious injuries, he does get minor ones far more than normal.  The Yankees acquired Stanton after his MVP 2017 season with the Miami Marlins, where he hit 59 home runs with 132 RBIs.

For the two years, he has been with the Yankees; he has hit only 41 home runs combined.  His RBIs during the period are half what they were with the Marlins.  During 2019 he played in only 18 games driving in only 13 runs as he suffered injury after injury.  During this spring training, he is injured again, this time with a calf strain.  Stanton is the highest-paid Yankee.  With his injury history and the size of his contract, there is little chance that the Yankees can trade him.

Aaron Judge:

The New York Yankees after 2017 looked ahead to a bright future for their superstar Aaron Judge.  He came in second in the MVP vote.  He hit 52 home runs, drove in 114, and maintained a batting average of .284.  Since then, his bright star has dimmed.  In 2018 he played in only 112 games, and in 2019 only 102 games.  Like Stanton, he has had injury after injury, keeping him off the field.  In the first two years with the team, fans constantly talked about locking him down and giving him a lucrative long term extension.

Last year and this spring training, you are not hearing much about that anymore. Fans, and maybe the front office, is beginning to be worried that their star may have a checkered future as Judge is now suffering a fractured rib that may have existed since last season, and is preventing him from batting.  I realize I will be criticized by the Yankee faithful for this suggestion, but should trading Judge be considered?   Like Stanton, the Yankees have done just fine with Judge away from the field.

There is no question that Judge’s value has lessened in the last year, but he might be more valuable to the club in a trade deal.  A club that is struggling might be willing to take the risk on a productive player even with an injury history dating back to his college days.  With questions as to if Gleyber Torres can be the everyday shortstop.  The Yankees aren’t worried about the production, but his 21 errors in that past two years present defensive worries.  Would a trade deal involving Judge for a Lindor type shortstop make sense? Please no death threats, thank you very much.

Gary Sanchez:

All the talk this spring training is the competition for the backup catcher.  Why?  Because the Yankee have resigned themselves that Gary Sanchez will most likely be injured part of the season and possibly multiple times.  As it appears now, Kyle Higashioka will assume the position of backup catcher.   There is no question that Sanchez could be a superstar catcher, but the keyword there is could.

So far, during this spring training, Kyle Higashioka seems to have come into his own in answering the question, does he have power?  During spring training, he leads the club in home runs with 3 and an impressive .909 OPS, something Sanchez has not equaled since 2016.  Gary, on the other hand, has hit no home runs and is batting .059.  Oh, and he has another health issue a sore back that was keeping him from catching.  The Yankees would probably not consider trading Sanchez, but if he has another injury-riddled season, that is not out of the question.

One situation that may mitigate many of these injuries is the new Yankee medical and strength and conditioning staff.  If they can be successful in keeping these three players on the field, it will inevitably change the dynamics of their futures, particularly with Judge and Sanchez, who, at some point, will be considered for contract extensions.