Well Major League Baseball has a second season and it is here folks. We all know it and some of us find it more entertaining than the actual baseball on the field. It is Hot Stove season and business will be picking up while the rumors start to float. Shockingly Derek Jeter has reached out to Brian Cashman and the Yankees about a deal involving Giancarlo Stanton. Okay, it is clearly not shocking as upwards of half of baseball will at least kick the tires on the idea themselves but it is a tad bit interesting that Jeter is the one to reach out. But for us to read a definitive headline like “Yankees Acquire Giancarlo Stanton” would be no simple task at all. But is it possible? Yes it is and here are a couple of scenarios that might not be probable but are clearly possible.
Can The Yankees Acquire Giancarlo Stanton? Discussion Assumptions
Before we get into it there are a few assumptions about the Yankees and the future of the franchise that probably need to be spelled out to help frame the conversation. There are a few players in the system and currently up with the big club that are all but untouchable. Aaron Judge, the reigning AL ROY and home run king is off the market for anyone not named Mike Trout. Gary Sanchez, the Yankees backstop of now and the next decade is untouchable. Luis Severino had an incredible year and made a run at the Cy Young so yep, he is touchable. After that there are prospects the Yankees love but none that are completely unmovable given the world’s greatest option.
Another assumption will be a big one. That given the right environment and situation that Jacoby Ellsbury would wave his no-trade clause. Now this is a sticky at best situation that would probably involve some creativity on all fronts. But of course you have a mid-30s player on a team that can win so it will be a tough sell. Tough is not impossible though. Let’s imagine these scenarios from the perspectives of the executives involved in negotiations.
Can The Yankees Acquire Giancarlo Stanton? Scenario One
The Yankees and their former Captain sit down and talk turkey. Brian Cashman reminds Jeter that he knows the Marlins are looking to get payroll down to $100 Mil or less after raises. Jeter then reminds Cashman that half of baseball is calling about Stanton and options are smacking him in the face wherever he turns. They chuckle and starting talking realities.
They talk contract which reminds us that Stanton has 10 years and almost $300 Mil left on his deal but he does have an opt out in 2020. If he did not opt out then a little less than $30 Mil per is actually a solid price assuming he stays healthy. Cashman points out the injury history and a surplus of outfielders already while Jeter reminds him it is the AL and he could be the designated hitter.
Jeter mentions names like Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Justus Sheffield, Tyler Austin, Luis Cessa, and more as players the Marlins would love to see stay in Florida after Spring Training. After each name Cashman cringes a little bit as if to imply the thought of losing any of them is too much to bear. He dusts himself off, sits back, and asks Jeter if he plans on eating any of the contract. Jeter drops a flat, NO, and Cashman comes up with a plan that Jeter is intrigued with.
The Yankees will take Giancarlo Stanton and his full contract but the Marlins will have to do the Yankees a solid. His name is Chase Headley and $10 Mil owed in the final year of his contract while the Yankees will eat $3 Mil of the contract. With that veteran leadership the Yankees will also ship Clint Frazier, Tyler Austin, and Luis Cessa in the deal. The Marlins get a young arm, a MLB adjusted outfielder in Frazier and a first baseman/right fielder in Austin as protection in case they lose or refuse to pay Marcell Ozuna. Done and done. Cashman manages to give up two prospects that will not have Rule 5 protection in Austin and Cessa (so they will lose them anyway), a stud in Frazier is lost but so it Chase Headley which allows Castro to move to Third Base making room for Torres. It is a stretch but it could happen and could end with the “Yankees Acquire Giancarlo Stanton” headline we were talking about.
Can The Yankees Acquire Giancarlo Stanton? Scenario Two
Here we are again with two friends at a table talking about the future of two franchises, a new legacy for Jeter, and how to make it all happen. As expected the size of the contract, his injury history and the expected opt out for Stanton are all discussed. Again Jeter waxes poetic about the young guys in New York that he likes. Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Justus Sheffield, Tyler Austin, Luis Cessa, and more are on his list of players that the Miami Marlins might be interested in.
Cashman throws out a new concern in this scenario. That concern comes in the form of Jacoby Ellsbury and the $60 Mil left over the next three seasons. Jeter chuckles and asks why he would eat any of that contract when he is try to dump payroll. Besides, he implies, Ellsbury is not waving a no trade clause to come to Miami. At his age and wanting to win there is no incentive.
Cashman points at a name he wrote down on some paper. Jeter chuckles and implies that is interesting and that things just got interesting. The name on the paper is Jerry Dipoto. He is the General Manager of the Seattle Mariners. Why Seattle? The Mariners are on the cusp of being a real contender, Jacoby Ellsbury grew up in the area, idolized Ken Griffey Jr., and went to many Seattle Mariners games. Even mid-30s Ellsbury is an outfield upgrade. Seattle also needs a first baseman long term, bullpen help, and a bit of a change.
So how would this go? Obviously the Mariners would not just take Ellsbury out of the kindness of their hearts. Now if you thought the last scenario was insane then buckle up buttercup because here it comes.
BLOCKBUSTER INSANITY ALERT
Jacoby Ellsbury and his whole contract wave their no trade clause to go home(ish) to Seattle. He also brings Tyler Austin and Dellin Betances with him to Seattle.
Giancarlo Stanton waves his no trade clause to move to New York City and play ball for the Yankees until at least 2020. The Bombers also add the arm of 2015 2nd Round pick Andrew Moore from Seattle.
The Marlins get full Giancarlo Stanton salary relief from the Yankees as a start. The Yankees also send Clint Frazier and Luis Cessa to Miami. Miami also acquires Edwin Diaz from Seattle as a young, cheap, controllable closer type.
Seem really farfetched? That is fair. Does it seem like the Yankees are giving up a lot? It might. It sure would make December interesting. But why would it work?
Seattle adds a bit of payroll that they can handle and get an outfield/first base upside guy in Tyler Austin. Betances is instantly their closer without the New York stress. Ellsbury fills a need for them and is an upgrade in their outfield right away.
Miami saves a ton of money, get a play right away future All-Star in Clint Frazier, add another arm in Cessa, and take a big step in locking in the bullpen long term. All the additions are controllable at cheap prices over the next few years.
The Yankees give up Cessa and Austin that they will lose to Rule 5. The offload the Ellsbury salary they want to dump. The loss of Frazier hurts but he is blocked for playing time and we have farm depth in the outfield. Who knows if Betances recovers after last year post head shot besides that is a position of depth. The addition of Stanton make a crazy 2-3-4 and the arm of Moore has real upside. It is clearly a stretch but fun to imagine.
Can The Yankees Acquire Giancarlo Stanton? Wrap Up
Disclaimer: Do I think either of these scenarios will actually happen? No I do not. I do not think Stanton will become a Yankee but both of these scenarios (while a bit insane) are possible and reasonable for all parties. Just imagine that 2-3-4 for the next three years.
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