The primary goal for the New York Yankees this off-season is to stay underneath the $210 million luxury tax threshold, and that might be tough as they try to re-sign star infielder DJ LeMahieu and add a starting pitcher to the rotation.
The reality is, the Yankees have several moves they need to make if they want to compete in 2021, but they have the available salary to spend at this point. They have about $52 million opening up from three starters, leaving the rotation in free agency and $21 million being added from Jacoby Ellsburyâ€™s contract.
However, shedding some dead weight could be in their future, and some might consider Giancarlo Stanton to be a potential trade piece. While he has a no-trade clause in his contract, convincing him to go to an alternative team might be possible. Over the past two seasons, Stanton has played in just 41 games, playing in less than half during an already abbreviated 2020 season. He has essentially been a non-factor for the Yankees, and after winning the MVP back in 2017 with Miami, he has consistently gotten worse and more injury-prone with the Yankees.
Finding a way out of Stantonâ€™s deal would be beneficial for the Yankees, no matter how you look at it. While he is an incredible talent when available, he has essentially been taken out of his defensive duties, and they are simply paying him an astronomical amount of money as a designated hitter. The value and return donâ€™t match up with his price tag.
Here’s on out of this world Giancarlo Stanton trade for the Yankees:
Stanton and prospects to the Cubs for Yu Darvish, Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel.
This one definitely blows up the Yankeesâ€™ 2021 luxury tax â€” but again it is short-term pain, for long-term gain. How much do the Cubs want to lower payroll in the short term (word is a lot)? This saves the Cubs $51 million from 2021-23, including $30 million in 2021. Plus, their underwhelming farm system could pick up a piece or two additionally as a reward for taking on Stanton from 2024-27 ($98 million with the Marlinsâ€™ piece removed).
Darvish jumps in as the Yankeesâ€™ No. 2 starter behind Gerrit Cole. Heyward is Brett Gardner-esque: a strong corner defender and lefty bat who actually had a .936 OPS vs. righties last season. Kimbrel has been bad the last two years, but in September he threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings with no walks and 13 strikeouts. None of these contracts go beyond 2023.
This trade, theorized by the New York Post, would significantly hurt the Yankeesâ€™ chances of staying under the luxury tax threshold. However, they would have three quality players that fill essential needs.
Also, unloading Stantonâ€™s contract would be a huge benefit, as he still has multiple years on his deal that will likely hold the team back in the future. Giving away prospects is never a positive thing, but the Yankees have players up-and-coming and can spare to lose a few.