Go ahead ask yourself. If Derek Jeter came to my team and offered Giancarlo Stanton for a very replaceable return, would you make the deal?
Of course, you would, which is why Brian Cashman had to put the trigger on acquiring the reigning National League MVP. This move may not make the Yankees the best team in baseball, but right now they may be the most entertaining to watch.
If you need to blame someone for this deal, then blame Jeter, who is learning that running a baseball team is much harder than playing shortstop in New York. The former Yankee flubbed the Stanton deal from the beginning by first going public with his desire to move the right fielder and then working out deals with teams, which Stanton was not going to waive his no-trade clause to accept a deal.
The Cardinals and Giants were offering better hauls, but all of that was academic, since Jeter never got his outfielder’s approval. So when Stanton came back with the list of last season’s final four (Astros, Dodgers, Yankees, and Cubs), his options were very limited.
With former Yankee front office executive Gary Dembo helping Jeter run the Marlins, they had knowledge of the diamonds in the rough in the farm system. Since the return would be limited, this was an important consideration.
The Dodgers were out because they didn’t want to take on that kind of money being over the luxury cap, so the Yankees, who were under the cap with the intention of staying under it were the choice.
Hal Steinbrenner was going to spend money, if it kept the Yankees under the cap, so Stanton is on the way to becoming a Yankee.
On the short term, this is a boon for the Bombers, who immediately become World Series contenders. Even though they need a starting pitcher or two, the Yankees look like they can get that one extra post-season win in 2018 to get back to the Fall Classic and possibly win it.
But in six or seven years, the Yankees may not be as happy. When Stanton hits his mid-30s will he be as productive and worth the $32 million per season? Probably not. But the Yankees know this going into the game and he will be well worth it if they win a few World Series between now and then.
As for the Marlins, their most valuable asset became an albatross which they had to give away. For all his greatness on the field, Jeter needs to learn how to run a baseball operation by not being upfront with his moves. Sure, they had to cut payroll, but do they have to announce it to the world? And when dealing an asset, talk to the player first and see where he would accept a trade. If a deal can’t be worked out, then keep him.
The general manager role is a game of poker. You must know when to bluff.
Jeter blinked. The Yankees benefitted.
That’s why you can’t blame them for this move.