The Yankees will be tortured by Giancarlo Stanton in 2021 and beyond

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton
May 21, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts after striking out during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Hindsight is always 20/20, and the New York Yankees are likely wishing they never acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins in 2018. Stanton, who had a stellar first year with the Bombers, hitting .266 and 38 homers, has since fallen off astronomically over the past two seasons. While his average is decent, he has only played in 41 games, totaling 166 play appearances.

To give you some perspective, Stanton enjoyed 705 played appearances in 2018, more than quadruple his number from the last two seasons. To add, Stanton has essentially been factored out of the defense, as injuries have taken their toll end disallowed him from playing in the outfield.

The Yankees are now on the hook for $29 million in 2021 and 2022 before his salary takes a leap to $32 million per season. At the time, acquiring Stanton was a behemoth move, considering he had just won the MVP and hit 59 homeruns in 2017. The Yankees are probably wishing they never made this deal, considering his inefficiency and inability to stay healthy.

Now, the Yankees are faced with an interesting dilemma, as owner Hal Steinbrenner wants his team’s payroll to be less than next season’s $210 million luxury tax threshold.

Since the team lost more money than any other squad in the MLB due to COVID-19, their financial flexibility is strapped. Gaining back the lost revenue will be a priority this off-season, and with the expectation of a full 2021 campaign, ownership can’t get there fast enough. I wouldn’t expect the Yankees to drop big money on any high profile players but rather supplement the loss of their starting pitchers hitting FA.

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The New York Yankees need to find ways to lower their payroll:

Currently, the Yankees have starting pitcher Gerrit Cole taking up 21.42% of their payroll and Stanton 17.26%. Their luxury tax on Stanton is $22 million, with his payroll at $29 million. Stanton alone is earning more than the entire Tampa Bay Rays squad, which gives you an idea of how disappointing his performances have been the past two years.

Out of 60 games in 2020, Stanton only managed to play in 23, dealing with hamstring issues. If he cannot remain healthy, it will be incredibly disappointing considering the Yankees plan on making him their specific designated hitter. Even utilizing just his bat, Stanton has picked up ailments and missed time.

With Giancarlo picking up his player option after the 2020 campaign, the Yankees are on the hook for seven more seasons until the club has a $10 million buyout in 2028. At that point in his career, he will be 38 years old, and the Yankees still paying him over $25 million per season.

Stanton surely has the better side of this deal.