Archive for Giancarlo Stanton
Only three questions this week because you folks sent in a whole lot of repeats and wildly outrageous hypotheticals. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk about crazy trade scenarios as much as anyone, but no, the Yankees won’t make a monster offer for Bryce Harper in the wake of Curtis Granderson‘s injury. So yeah, use the Submit A Tip box and step up your mailbagin’ game.
Paul asks: In years past I remember the season starting off with enough off days to make a fifth starter unnecessary until 2-3 weeks into the season. Freddy Garcia specifically had that happen. What’s this season like in that regard? Any chance that, even if Phil Hughes is on the DL they just go with four starters for a couple of weeks?
Unfortunately the schedule works against the Yankees this year. They play their first game on April 1st, have April 2nd off, then play 12 games in the next 12 days. Barring any weather-related postponements, the absolute latest the Yankees will need their fifth start this season April 8th in Cleveland, the seventh game of the season. They’ll need him again five days later, so it’s not even a situation where they would need him once in the first four weeks or something.
The Yankees are in relatively good shape because they do have have that spare starter — the loser of the Ivan Nova/David Phelps fifth starter battle — to stick in Hughes’ spot if his back injury delays the start of his season for any reason. My big concern is someone else getting hurt and having to miss time. All of a sudden Adam Warren would be taking the ball every five days in April and that is less than ideal. As I’ve written recently, I’m a fan of exploring a contract with Kyle Lohse even though it’ll cost a draft pick. If he’s willing to take favorable terms (one or two years at $7-8M annually?), having that extra quality depth will be nice. The Yankees are going to lean on their pitching staff more than usual this year, so might as well beef it up as much as possible.
Ben asks: Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re the GM of a team that has either a protected first round pick or you’ve already lost it because you’ve signed a qualifying free agent. Would the thought of signing Kyle Lohse to a one-year deal cross your mind? Consider this: if you do, you lose a second round pick, but if he pitches well then you can make a qualifying offer and be in line to get a BETTER pick than the one you gave up. How long would you entertain that idea before you dismissed it?
Well, isn’t that convenient. As I just said, I would absolutely explore signing Lohse at this point. I think draft picks are being overvalued these days, especially by legitimate contenders who are trying to win now. If you’re trying to win in 2013 and 2014, adding Lohse is going to help you a helluva lot more than a draft pick in whatever round. The scary part is that these St. Louis journeymen/reclamation types tend to stink as soon as they leave the Cardinals, however. The Jeffs — Suppan and Weaver — are the primary examples. That does make me nervous.
I’m not sure I buy the idea of getting a pick when Lohse leaves — given how his free agency has played out, I’m guessing Lohse would take a qualifying offer in the future, especially since they’re expected to climb into the $14-15M range in the coming years — but that’s always possible. I certainly wouldn’t assume a future draft pick when signing the right-hander. Without knowing what Scott Boras is seeking, I think there’s a pretty great opportunity out there for someone to get a bargain with Lohse at this point. The Braves, who already forfeited their first rounder to sign B.J. Upton and have questions at the back of the rotation, should be all over him.
Frank asks: Nonsense (maybe not) hypothetical … If Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, and Mason Williams have somewhat outstanding years in AA/AAA, would you trade all three for Giancarlo Stanton, straight up?
Yep, in a heartbeat. Stanton is a proven star at the big league level and is basically in those guys’ age range — he’s ten months older than Heathcott and less than two years older than Austin and Williams — so it would be both a win-now and win-later move. I said before that I think draft picks are being overrated and I feel the same way about prospects, even top prospects. If you can’t trade multiple top prospects for someone like Stanton, who can you trade them for?
As much as we don’t want to admit it, those three young outfielders aren’t all going to work out. If the Yankees get one above-average big leaguer from that group, they should be thrilled. Two would be a minor miracle. Heathcott is an injury risk because he plays like a maniac, Austin’s power ceiling is limited because he doesn’t generate enough backspin, and Williams is a bit of a hacker. There are red flags there. Stanton isn’t the perfect player, but he fits the Yankees’ needs so beautifully. Empty out that farm system.
It has been nearly two months since the Marlins and Blue Jays swung their 12-player blockbuster, a trade that moved every Miami player making decent money north of the border. Ever since that trade, fans of every non-Marlins team have been clamoring for their squad to acquire Giancarlo Stanton. The just-turned-23-year-old is a .270/.350/.553 (140 wRC+) career hitter with 93 homers, the sixth most all-time through a player’s age 22 season. Stanton is special and everyone wants him.
A few days ago, Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings told Jim Bowden that the team will indeed listen to offer for their young slugger, but they’re not actively shopping him and are disinclined to move him given his age and near-league minimum salary. In fact, Ken Rosenthal says the chances of a trade are “as close to zero as they can be.” They’re willing to listen to offers the same way every team will listen to offers for every player. It’s part of the business. Due diligence, as they say. The Yankees were one of several teams to contact Miami about Giancarlo this offseason, but obviously nothing has come from it.
The Yankees desperately need to add a young, impact hitter to the lineup, and Stanton obviously fits the bill. The problem is that they really don’t have the pieces to acquire him. This isn’t an Alex Rodriguez situation, where they were able to acquire one of the game’s best players on the right side of 30 despite a middling farm system because they could absorb his contract. Stanton is dirt cheap. He won’t be arbitration-eligible until the 2014 season, when he could threaten Ryan Howard’s first-time arbitration record of $10M. That’s a lot of scratch, but most teams could afford it.
The quartet of Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez, and Slade Heathcott will crack pretty much every top 100-ish prospect ranking in the next few weeks, but those guys have a combined eight plate appearances above Single-A ball. The Marlins aren’t taking a bunch of A-ball prospects for Stanton, they’re going to want MLB ready or near-MLB players. Guys who could step right into their lineup at some point this coming season. Ivan Nova, David Phelps, Adam Warren, David Adams, Corban Joseph … none of them are nearly good enough to pique Miami’s interest. They’re quantity, not quality. I can’t see a trade of Curtis Granderson for prospects that are then flipped for Stanton either. Good idea in theory, but why wouldn’t the third team just send those prospects to Miami directly?
I think that more than anything, this is where drafting the Cito Culvers and Dante Bichette Juniors of the world really comes back to bite the Yankees. Obviously injuries to Manny Banuelos and Jose Campos (and Michael Pineda) hurt as well, but the team passed on better talents (according to the consensus) to draft Culver and Bichette with their top picks in recent years. They haven’t developed as expected and leave the team with two untradeable assets. Well, not untradeable, but not all that valuable. Bichette would be what, the fifth player in a realistic Stanton package? Almost like a throw-in.
I understand what the Yankees were getting at with those selections. They targeted high-character guys who could rise to the big league level with the team rather than higher risk, higher ceiling guys. They didn’t draft for need per se, but the objective wasn’t best available player. If it was, the front office should be asking itself how the hell they managed to rate Culver and Bichette as the best available players at those draft slots. It doesn’t make sense. I say this all the time, but teams aren’t just drafting for themselves. They’re drafting for the rest of the league as well. Look at the Reds, they drafted Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal despite having Joey Votto and Devin Mesoraco, and it helped them land Mat Latos.
Anyway, I honestly don’t think the Marlins will move Stanton this offseason. I think they’ll wait until his big arbitration award next winter, then look to move him for a massive haul. Their history suggests they’ll cut bait once he gets moderately expensive, so I don’t think I’m wildly out of line here. Perhaps the Yankees will be in a better position to acquire Stanton next winter, after their top four prospects get time in Double-A and both Campos and Pineda get back on the mound. Maybe Culver and Bichette even boost their trade value, who knows. Everyone wants Giancarlo Stanton right now, but I don’t believe the Yankees have enough to entice Miami.
Via Nick Cafardo: The Yankees are one of many teams to inquire about the availability of outfielder Giancarlo Stanton in the wake of the Marlins’ fire sale/blockbuster with the Blue Jays. The Phillies, Red Sox, Orioles, and Cubs have also put a call in to Miami.
Stanton, who just turned 23 earlier this month, is a career .270/.350/.533 (140 wRC+) hitter with 93 homers in 373 games. He hit .290/.361/.608 (153 wRC+) with 37 homers in 501 plate appearances this season while battling right knee (surgery to remove loose bodies) and oblique problems. Stanton is under team control through 2016 and is a true franchise player, the kind of guy the Yankees should go all out to acquire if he’s actually available. The Marlins have not yet made any indication that he is, unfortunately.