The New York Yankees are not playing up to their typical standards in 2023, and MLB Network’s Brian Kenny believes Giancarlo Stanton may be a big reason why.
During a recent MLB Network segment, Kenny broke down how Stanton’s contract hasn’t led to enough value for the Yankees, via MLB Now. It should be noted that Kenny acknowledged how impactful Stanton’s injuries have been. Almost everyone can agree that Stanton’s injury concerns have played a pivotal role in his underperformance at times. Still, Kenny began the segment by asking the following question: “How much did the Giancarlo Stanton trade sink this era of Yankees baseball?”
He proceeded to dive into statistics. Stanton’s WAR and many other key stats have drastically decreased since joining New York despite the Yankees taking on “10 years and $265 million” (with the Miami Marlins paying some of the contract).
Kenny ripped Stanton to shreds at the end of the segment after a deep dive into the stats.
“For the better part of the past five years,” Kenny said, “Stanton clogs the roster, clogs the bases, clogs up the DH spot. And a big DH with a big salary that doesn’t run and is often hurt, that takes up a lot of space.”
Is Kenny correct? Did the Stanton trade “sink” the Yankees?
Giancarlo Stanton’s time with the Yankees
Stanton originally signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Marlins. He was traded to the Yankees following his MVP season in 2017, however. Although Miami agreed to pay some of the deal, New York is still paying most of the lucrative contract. Stanton, who’s already 33-years old, is under contract through 2027 and has a club option for 2028.
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New York isn’t going to be able to simply trade him away if they opt to go in a different direction. It seems like Stanton will finish his contract as a member of the ball club unless a team decides to agree to a trade.
In the end, we can’t blame Giancarlo Stanton for his injury troubles. Yes, he’s only appeared in 130 or more games twice since 2018, but he’s doing everything he can to stay healthy. The most concerning element of New York’s Giancarlo Stanton dilemma is his decline over the past year and a half.
In 2022, Stanton slashed just .211/.297/.462 with a .759 OPS across 110 games. He clubbed 31 home runs during that span, but didn’t offer much other offensive value. And as a DH who doesn’t run well, Stanton needs to post better offensive numbers to truly make a positive impact.
In 2023, Stanton is currently slashing .201/.283/.444 with a .727 OPS and 18 home runs in 71 games. The season obviously isn’t over but the ’23 campaign has been far from ideal for the former MVP.
The Yankees struggles can’t be strictly placed on Giancarlo Stanton. New York’s entire offense, with the exception of Aaron Judge, has underperformed in 2023. The team has produced one of the worst franchise lineup performances in recent memory.
Still, one has to wonder where the Yankees would be if they never traded for Stanton. Perhaps they could have built a younger and more balanced roster. Or, New York could have attempted to sign a superstar like Bryce Harper instead.
Regardless, the Yankees made their decision. If Stanton can rebound and stay healthy in 2024, then he could change the narrative surrounding him. Right now, though, it is difficult to call the Giancarlo Stanton trade a success for New York.