As we near the end of a disappointing season for the Yankees, many are hoping for significant changes this winter. It’s undetermined exactly what might happen at this point. But if you ask a sea of Yankee fans about a player that needs to be elsewhere in 2024? There’s a good chance the majority will say “Giancarlo Stanton” in unison.
And, look — this is not supposed to be a shot at Big G. He’s provided some good moments during his tenure in the Bronx. And I’m specifically talking about his postseason production. However, his lack of recent production and frequent trips to the injured list is a drag on the roster.
General manager Brian Cashman has a big job to do this winter. Outside of courting NPB ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, another big to-do list item should be finding a way to offload Stanton. Even if New York has to eat a large chunk of his salary.
Following this season, Stanton still has four years and $118 million left on his current contract.
So, what’s been the worst part of the right-handed slugger’s 2023 campaign, you ask? It’s probably that he’s become a one-dimensional ballplayer. He’s only appeared as a fielder in 33 games, and it doesn’t seem like he can run well any more:
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 20, 2023
So that means his best-remaining quality lies in what he does upon stepping into the batter’s box. This is Stanton’s sixth year with the Yankees. Outside of 2019 and 2020, which were limited to 41 total games, he’s slugged 20-plus homers each year.
His 2023 total is up at 24 with 58 RBI in 395 plate appearances. But similar to last year, he’s not providing a ton in other areas. His triple slash is .190/.276/.426, and his .702 OPS would be a career-low mark if the season ended today.
But it’s not like one can just pencil him into the lineup every day with hopes he gets going. That’s because he’s been a completely different hitter depending on whether he’s facing a lefty or righty.
In 73 plate appearances against southpaws, Stanton is slashing .269/.319/.627. That’s good for a .946 OPS and 152 wRC+. But in 322 trips to the plate without the platoon advantage, his line drops to .172/.264/.379. That’s “good” for a .643 OPS and 75 wRC+.
This isn’t what you want from a dude you’re paying $32 million.
Maybe these platoon numbers are just an aberration. He’s hit well in both situations throughout his career. He also posted a 126 wRC+ against righties and an 88 wRC+ against lefties in 2022.
But still, this season has been unsettling to watch as Stanton prepares for his age-34 campaign. Will the Yankees wave the white flag and eat a bunch of salary in a trade or hope for a rebound next year?