The New York Yankees have been on the far fringes of the Giancarlo Stanton talk to this point, and one reason for that is the difficulty it would seem to be for them to fit Stanton and his $25 million salary under the $197 million luxury tax threshold for 2018.
But they have indeed spoken to the Marlins about Stanton, and surely have envisioned combining him with Aaron Judge and forming a new and real Bash Brothers, and there is one way they could make it work.
The Yankees would have to include some combination of Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and maybe Brett Gardner to make their tax goal still work. And while it’s a long shot, technically it’s doable.
The Marlins are said to have started Stanton talks by asking any acquiring team to take his full contract and the $295 million to go over 10 years while also giving up good prospects. But sources say they are open to negotiating off that, depending on the total take, and the Yankees have a plethora of very good prospects that could entice Miami.
The Marlins would obviously prefer not to take big contracts back, but they are open to anything (they have to be, considering Stanton, with a full no-trade, is driving the bus). And one thing to keep in mind: New owner Derek Jeter’s team made its first deal with the Yankees, and he and Gary Denbo, hired from the Yankees organization, where he was a top executive overseeing their farm system. are more familiar with the Yankees’ players and prospects.
Word is, Ellsbury, who has a no-trade clause, doesn’t want to be dealt from the Yankees, so that could be a complication in such a scenario.
The key for the Yankees, of course, is their long-stated desire to get under the tax threshold so they can reset their tax rate and play next winter when several stars are hitting the market, including Bryce Harper, Manny Machado (an even more likely target for them than Harper), possibly Clayton Kershaw, Josh Donaldson and many others.
The Yankees have been talking to several teams about Ellsbury and Headley in particular, and are willing to offset salaries — especially Ellsbury’s — depending on the take. Stanton, who has that full no-trade clause, hasn’t publicly said where he wants to go, but it’s clear he’s holding the cards and believed he’d most prefer two things: 1) a winning team, and 2) the West Coast.
But since the Dodgers are the only team that fits both those categories, and they have even more tax issues than the Yankees and are at the very least playing their Stanton pursuit “cool” to this point, it’s certainly reasonable to think Stanton will weigh other mostly-positive scenarios seriously, and that would seem to include the Yankees, who look primed to contend for at least the next half decade considering their excellent stash of 20-something stars.
Any team that lands Japanese League star Shohei Ohtani could have an extra edge in a Stanton pursuit, since they’d be getting a likely superstar at a minimum first-year salary, and the Yankees look like an early favorite for Ohtani, though of course that bidding hasn’t yet begun, for a variety of reasons.
- Murray | Marlins must deal Stanton no matter what it takes
- Heyman | Giants and Cards favorites but many want Stanton