Yankees owe $98 million to veteran outfielder who may be looking for an escape route

mlb: washington nationals at new york yankees, giancarlo stanton
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a perfect world, New York Yankees will find a way to offload Giancarlo Stanton and his mammoth contract. The team owes Stanton $98 million in luxury tax salary until the 2028 season, in which they have an option to buy out his deal at $10 million.

The Yankees need to move on from Giancarlo Stanton

The end of his contract can’t come soon enough, given his regression and plummeting statistics. At 34 years old, even general manager Brian Cashman indicated earlier this week that it is no secret he’s an injury-prone piece at this point in time. Stanton hit .211 with a .297 OBP in the 2022 season, including 31 homers, 78 RBIs, and 116 wRC+. Given his elite power, he still managed to salvage his metrics, but 2023 represented a whole new beast.

Stanton recorded a career-low .191 average with a .275 OBP, including 24 homers, 60 RBIs, a 29.9% strikeout rate, 9.9% walk rate, and 89 wRC+. For the first time in his career, he was considered a below-average hitter and posted -0.8 WAR.

Stanton is seemingly looking for a way out

Interestingly, Keith McPherson of WFAN tweeted out that Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, and several other veterans wanted to stay with the Yankees. However, a former player responded, indicating that Stanton may want to go elsewhere in the future, potentially opening up the door for a deal that would offload his salary, given he waived his no-trade clause.

“(Gerrit) Cole is not opting out. (Aaron) Judge is never requesting a trade,” McPherson wrote. “Stanton wants to finish his career here. Same w/ (Anthony) Rizzo and (AJ) LeMahieu. These guys are “in it to win it”. The window will close in the next 3-5 years. #Yankees should simply stack the deck and win the World Series next year!”

Cameron Maybin stated:

“You know I agree with everything you said except the big G part…. And I’ll leave it there,” said Cameron Maybin. “Im not putting words in his mouth but not so sure he wants to finish his career in the pinstripes.. I’m sure he’d like to finish somewhere that actual appreciates how’s he’s handle every sec of being in NYC.”

Would Stanton have any suitors on the trade market?

The truth is, nobody in their right mind would trade for Stanton at this point in time with his value reaching an all-time low. He’s owed $22 million in luxury tax salary for the next few years and is far from being the MVP-caliber talent he was back in 2017.

The Yankees are simply praying that he can turn back the clock and offer them a competent cleanup hitter in 2024, but that may be a tall ask. In the meantime, his existence on the roster shouldn’t stop them from acquiring players like Juan Soto to help improve the batting order.

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