Posted on November 26, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine

New York Yankees Giancarlo Stanton

Image via forbes.com

Early in the MLB offseason, it’s not unusual to see a lot of crazy and not-so-crazy rumors swirling around. One of the latest rumors to grab headlines around the baseball world involves New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Specifically, there are whispers that the Yankees could trade Stanton. The reason for that would be to free up money and space on their roster to sign either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, the top free agents on the free agent market.

On the surface, it would seem almost impossible to trade Stanton given his massive contract. Of course, the Yankees found a way to do it last winter, so perhaps they could find a way to ship him out of the Bronx this year. It could actually be a little easier this winter because he has $25 million less remaining on his deal.

Stanton and his massive contract may actually be appealing to some teams. Both Harper and Machado could potentially receive a contract worth as much as $400 million over the course of the next 10-plus years. Stanton, on the other hand, only has a measly $270 million and nine years left on his deal. The Miami Marlins are also on the hook for a small portion of that. Compared to Harper or Machado, Stanton is the cheaper option.

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Specifically, teams like the Dodgers, Giants, and Phillies could all be interested in a trade for Stanton. Those teams are theoretically contenders to sign Harper and/or Machado. They are all looking to make a splash this offseason one way or another. Finding a way to trade for Stanton could be a way to do that without committing $300 million or more to one player.

As for the Yankees, they are also obvious candidates to sign either Harper or Machado. But even for them, signing one of those players could be difficult with Stanton’s deal on their books. They also have to think about eventually paying to keep some of their young rising stars like Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres when they get closer to free agency. If the Yankees decide they want either Machado or Harper, trading Stanton could become a prerequisite.

Trading one high-priced superstar to make room for another would surely be a bold move for the Bronx Bombers. But so was trading for Stanton in the first place. The Yankees also made a bold trade last week when they acquired James Paxton from the Mariners. That trade sent the message that the Yankees mean business this offseason. Finding a creative way to go after either Harper or Machado may not be that far fetched.

At the moment, it’s too early to know for sure if the Yankees are the most likely destination for either Machado or Harper. The rest of the free agent market is likely to be slow to develop until those two set the market. If the Yankees are trying to wheel and deal behind the scenes before they can sign either, it could delay things even further. Right now, trading Stanton would appear to be little more than a rumor. But when you think about it, it’s not the craziest thing in the world.

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