Giancarlo Stanton is open to change, Yankees must exploit to chart an exit plan

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Yankees power hitter Giancarlo Stanton may not have delivered a stellar performance on Wednesday night, failing to defend his season statistics, but he was quick to defend his strong work ethic and display an openness to embracing change.

During a brief media session that lasted less than three minutes, Giancarlo Stanton provided a glimpse into his mindset during what has been a challenging season for the Yankees’ slugger. He candidly acknowledged that when he looks at the scoreboard and observes his batting average, his immediate reaction is, “Terrible.”

Giancarlo Stanton’s batting average has plummeted to an alarming .188, with his OPS also suffering at .694, following yet another hitless 0-for-4 performance in the Yankees’ 6-1 defeat to the Blue Jays at The Bronx.

Giancarlo Stanton is open to change

Yankees injured list trimmed
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Giancarlo Stanton conveyed his willingness to embrace those necessary changes. He expressed the need for change, stating, “I can’t produce like this season, so gotta change.”

Despite his impressive 402 career home runs, Giancarlo Stanton’s recent performance has made him seem older than his actual age of 33. He emphasized that his struggles were not due to a lack of effort on his part.

Giancarlo Stanton acknowledged the need for improvement and adjustments, commenting that there were many things he had to work on. He made these remarks on a night when he had three outs with runners in scoring position. The slugger, who fans want to be traded, also expressed his dedication by saying that if people believed he was merely showing up without putting in the effort, he didn’t know how else to convey his commitment.

Several advanced statistical metrics provide a more favorable assessment of Giancarlo Stanton’s performance than his batting average suggests. He continues to make solid contact with the baseball, reducing the frequency of ground balls compared to previous seasons. Moreover, his strikeout rate is lower than it was in 2018 when he garnered MVP votes during his debut season with the Yankees.

However, despite these positive indicators, Giancarlo Stanton, who has primarily served as a designated hitter, has surprisingly delivered below-average hitting results. When asked about the reason for this disparity, the player expressed uncertainty.

Throughout his six seasons with the Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton has exhibited a streaky pattern, transitioning from slumps to hot streaks rapidly. Both he and his team have been anticipating one of his trademark hot streaks, but regrettably, it has not materialized during this disappointing season.

Boone mentioned that there was a need for extensive discussion regarding the matter. He expressed hope that, during the upcoming winter, there would be an opportunity for growth and making necessary adjustments to improve the players and the team’s situation for the following year. Boone also expressed his belief in the potential for a more consistent performance from Giancarlo Stanton in the future.

Is he the right-handed Joey Gallo?

Giancarlo Stanton’s recent performance has been deeply troubling, as he has only managed 2 hits in 39 at-bats and racked up 17 strikeouts over the past 11 games. Last season was already a low point in his career, concluding with an abysmal .211 batting average and a .759 OPS, which is an extremely disappointing performance by any standard. Giancarlo Stanton had to contend with a grade 2 left hamstring strain, which landed him on the injured list from April 16 to June 1, causing him to miss 43 games. Upon his return, he displayed productivity with 20 home runs and 47 runs batted in over 83 games, 80 of which he started. However, his batting average plummeted to .177 during this lengthy 3½-month period.

Comparatively, Giancarlo Stanton’s trajectory is beginning to resemble that of Joey Gallo, but as a right-handed hitter. Unlike Stanton, Gallo possesses the ability to chase down flyballs effectively in the outfield and isn’t considered slow in terms of speed.

The Yankees had a convenient way out with Gallo, who was approximately 16 months away from free agency when they acquired him at the 2021 trade deadline. By the subsequent trade deadline, Gallo was no longer part of the team.

As Giancarlo Stanton’s hitting performance has declined, the spotlight has turned to his sluggish baserunning, which appears to be a deliberate effort to reduce the risk of injuries like the hamstring strain that sidelined him for six weeks earlier in the season. During a recent game, he grounded into two double plays with a notably lethargic approach. Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone, who was ejected from the game, expressed the need to “examine” potential adjustments that could help Giancarlo Stanton become more agile and presumably faster on the basepaths.

A possible Yankees plan to dump him

The Yankees face numerous challenges as they approach the end of their 162-game season, which concludes in a week. A major question looms: should the Yankees allocate the $51 million earned collectively by Josh Donaldson, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, Harrison Bader, and Domingo German this year into their 2024 payroll? If Hal Steinbrenner intends to secure victories in the upcoming season, it’s a crucial decision that demands consideration.

Giancarlo Stanton, while generally seen as a good-natured individual with a friendly disposition who values winning, is grappling with the frustration of a subpar season. He’s deeply disheartened by his inability to perform at the level he achieved with the Marlins for the Yankees. Yet, Giancarlo Stanton, who turns 34 in November, is experiencing the physical toll of the game, and his current condition, while healthy, may be indicative of his future performance as his body wears down.

Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton fails to control his swing and falls into the ground vs. the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 19, 2023.

In the pursuit of success, the Yankees might need to part ways with Giancarlo Stanton, regardless of the financial implications. This would free up the designated hitter position for Aaron Judge on occasion. Replacing Stanton with a left-handed power hitter who excels defensively and isn’t hindered by slow running could be advantageous.

Ultimately, the decision to offload Giancarlo Stanton rests with Steinbrenner, but it could significantly improve the Yankees’ prospects as an American League powerhouse in 2024 and beyond. He is guaranteed another $128 million over the remaining four years of his 13-year, $325-million contract, with the Marlins contributing $30 million, leaving the Yankees accountable for $98 million, including a $10-million buyout for 2028.

While it may not be easy for Steinbrenner to authorize Giancarlo Stanton’s release, as he did with other players this year, such as Aaron Hicks, Donaldson, and Bader, exploring options to minimize the financial impact could be beneficial. One approach is for General Manager Brian Cashman to propose a part-time role for Giancarlo Stanton in the upcoming season, possibly making him more amenable to waiving his full no-trade clause, especially if it involves returning to Southern California.

Although the Dodgers may not express interest, the Angels could become potential suitors, particularly after the anticipated departure of Shohei Ohtani in free agency. To make the deal attractive, the Yankees would need to absorb a significant portion of Giancarlo Stanton’s contract, potentially up to $73.5 million, which, while a substantial sum, would save Steinbrenner approximately $24.5 million. Adding a promising pitching prospect to sweeten the deal might make it irresistible for the Angels to decline.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Giancarlo Stanton is open to change, Yankees must exploit to chart an exit plan

  1. no. 1 and most important, fire cashman,, he got suckered in by Jeter on this idiot trade,and now cashman should pay for it with his job.

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