The Yankees have been in contact with the Marlins about OF Giancarlo Stanton, who Miami is hoping to trade this offseason, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag.
Heyman notes that the Yankees -- who have been on the fringes of the Stanton market -- are intent on getting under the luxury tax threshold for next season, and suggests that any deal for Stanton would "have to include some combination of Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley, and maybe Brett Gardner" to make that goal attainable.
Stanton, who has a full no-trade clause, has reportedly prioritized going to the west coast. And it was reported Wednesday by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports that the Marlins would likely be willing to trade Stanton to the Giants for INF Joe Panik, RHP Tyler Beede, and OF Chris Shaw if the Giants were willing to absorb at least $250 million of the $295 million owed to Stanton.
The four-time All-Star is coming off the best season of his career after he hit .281/.376/.631 with a Major League-leading 59 homers and 132 RBI.
Although there has been no definitive confirmation that Stanton will be dealt, new Marlins owner Derek Jeter will reportedly slash the club's payroll from $115 million down to around $85-$90 million. Doing so without trading Stanton or other high-priced talent like Dee Gordon and Martin Prado would be a near impossibility.
Stanton has 10 years remaining on the 13-year, $325-million contract he signed after the 2014 season.
As incredible as it would be to see Stanton and Aaron Judge combining to hit 100+ home runs in a season, the surrounding circumstances and the number of necessary moving parts may be too difficult to overcome.
While the Yankees would love to ditch Ellsbury's contract -- he has three years and over $68 million left (including a $5 million buyout) -- it would require more moves for the Marlins to compensate for that considering New York would not want to pay any of the remaining salary if they are absorbing all of Stanton's contract. Similarly, adding Headley (due $13 million in 2018) and/or Gardner ($11.5 million in 2018) to the mix simply does not sound like the type of deal the Marlins are hoping to make.
If the Yankees were intent on acquiring Stanton, they might try to trade as much of the excess contracts (Ellsbury first, then Headley) as they can before entertaining a trade with Miami. This would require two factors to be true.
First, the Yankees would want assurance than Stanton would waive his no-trade clause to come to New York. Secondly, the Yankees would need to feel comfortable in trading the players regardless of landing Stanton, in case they could not provide the best deal to the Marlins.