Yankees’ Brian Cashman threw kerosene on the Stanton fire

mlb: washington nationals at new york yankees, brian cashman
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees face a complex situation with slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who is under a significant luxury tax salary (owed $98 million) until a potential buyout in 2028 at $10 million. Stanton’s no-trade clause further complicates matters for General Manager Brian Cashman, restricting the team’s ability to trade him.

Recent comments by Cashman have added fuel to the fire, acknowledging Stanton’s injury-prone nature and the team’s need to plan accordingly.

Agent’s Reaction to Cashman’s Comments

Stanton’s agent, Joel Wolfe, responded sharply to Cashman’s remarks, which could potentially impact negotiations in the upcoming free agency period. Wolfe also represents Clay Holmes and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but his stance is unlikely to obstruct his clients from pursuing lucrative deals, with the Yankees often being a key player in the market for top talent.

“We try to limit the time he’s down,” Cashman said. “But I’m not gonna tell you he’s gonna play every game next year because he’s not. He’s going to wind up getting hurt again more likely than not because it seems to be part of his game. But I know that when he’s right and healthy – other than this past year – the guy’s a great hitter and has been for a long time.”

Stanton’s Declining Performance and Future Prospects

Assessing Stanton’s Recent Seasons

Rumors have suggested that Stanton could want to finish his career elsewhere than the Bronx, especially coming off two declining seasons. In 2023, he posted a career-worst .191 average and .275 OBP, including 24 homers, 60 RBIs, a 29.9% strikeout rate, and a 9.9% walk rate across 101 games. He recorded a career-low 89 wRC+ and -0.8 WAR, showcasing his lack of production and the fact that he was ultimately a liability in the Yankees’ batting order.

mlb: boston red sox at new york yankees, giancarlo stanton
Aug 18, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) stays on the field after an inning ending double play in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Potential for a Salary Dump Trade

The prospect of trading Stanton is complicated by his contract and no-trade clause. Any potential deal to offload Stanton’s salary would likely require the inclusion of prospects to make it appealing to another team. Additionally, Stanton’s approval would be necessary for any trade, making it a challenging proposition for Cashman.

Rebuilding Stanton’s Confidence and Performance

Despite the difficulties, there may still be a path forward for Stanton with the Yankees. Focusing on rebuilding his confidence and honing his fundamentals could help him regain his form. Addressing issues like bat speed and swing decisions will be crucial in his attempt to bounce back.

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