Can anyone imagine a lineup with both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in it?
Apparently the New York Yankees can, because sources with ties to the Miami Marlins say the Yankees were one of the teams to check in regarding the status of Stanton, the great slugger whose mega contract is quite likely too big for the Miami franchise.
It isn’t known exactly how serious the Yankees were about adding baseball’s other superb bigger-than-life star, and they obviously have much more pressing needs than another superstar power-hitting outfielder. Not only do they have the 2017 sensation Judge for right field, they have yet another talented rookie outfielder, Clint Frazier, who’s racking up extra-base hits.
A Judge-Stanton lineup combination would be spectacular – though it seems like a long shot (no pun intended) at the moment. The pair lead their respective leagues in home runs, and together would be downright scary.
It isn’t believed the Yankees’ talk with the Marlins went far beyond an initial phone call, and that apparently came weeks ago, and there’s no evidence any Stanton talks are ongoing with the Yankees at this time.
Marlins people have said that Stanton isn’t “out there” on the trade market, but that hasn’t stopped at least “four or five” teams from checking in while the Marlins shop several other players. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is trying to sell the team, and the baseball people are selling some of their players – though everyone involved says there’s practically no chance for a Stanton deal at a time the whole franchise is in flux.
While Stanton’s $325-million, 13-year contract – there’s $295 million to go even after this season – fits the Yankees better than anyone else, like just about any team to have any interest, they’d surely want the baseball’s richest contract paid down to some degree.
Until this point, the teams most often linked to Stanton have been the Cardinals, Giants and Phillies, as mentioned here – though it isn’t clear how committed any of those teams are to a Stanton chase, either. Stanton has a full no-trade clause, too, with his primary interest being winning (though don’t look for him or anyone else to diminish the contract just to facilitate a trade; no one ever has, though Alex Rodriguez once offered in order to try to leave the Rangers for the Red Sox).
The Yankees right now are concentrating on the starting pitching market, and they’ve talked to the A’s about the top available starter Sonny Gray, and are looking into several other pitchers as well (they are one of the teams that’s checked in on Jaime Garcia). The rotation clearly is their focus.
Stanton is expected to clear waivers due to his contract, which would enable him to be traded after the July 31 trade deadline, and it isn’t known what any of the prospective new owners think about carrying such an expensive player when revenues are last in the league. The Marlins already have traded shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and reliever David Phelps, and are talking to teams about closer A.J. Ramos and others. They have said they have no intention to trade cost-efficient stars like Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto, and probably even Justin Bour and Dan Straily.
Folks around the team see serious Stanton talks most likely waiting until after the season. But it doesn’t hurt to wonder about the possibilities – and for the Yankees they’d be extraordinary.