White Sox: Hot Stove thoughts regarding Harper and Stanton
Even though the White Sox haven’t made any big moves in the Hot Stove season, other teams are starting to get busy.
With the plethora of needs, it’s safe to say that the White Sox will be making some moves very soon. (Hopefully.)
And, somewhere, someone will make a move that involves either Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado. Those rumors, as always, seem to involve the Yankees, especially when the rumors involved Harper.
But, the Yankees have a rather large problem: namely Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. (Pun intended). These two already regularly fill the spots that Harper would fill in the Bronx. Even though agent Scott Boras claims that Harper could easily fill first base, it seems like a waste of the right fielder’s speed.
Let’s say the Yankees happen to sign Harper – because they have the money, even though they do not have the need – what would they do with their outfield? There is no reason to have three men who can play right field, along with Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, and some youngsters like Clint Frazier. It is doubtful that the Yankees would get rid of Gardner, who can still hit and has speed left to give. It is also doubtful that the Yankees would move Stanton or Judge to left field if they were to put Harper in right field on a daily basis.
So, someone has to go. Hicks and Gardner could be on the chopping block. Hicks is still cheap and under team control. And, Gardner is a Yankee lifer who is the last throwback to the World-Series-Jeter-Rivera years. He’s not going anywhere and neither is Judge.
That leaves Stanton. After his MVP season in 2017, he had a substantial drop-off in 2018. Of course, he’s still a force at the plate, but by Yankees standards, he was not a favorite. In fact, the 2017 NL MVP was booed several times in the Big Apple. He certainly doesn’t have a fan section like Judge’s Chambers. It’s almost like the MVP isn’t appreciate by the Yankee fan base.
Can you imagine NOT appreciating having a player like Stanton on your team? It’s like blasphemy.
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If Stanton became available, could the White Sox afford him? Yes, especially if the Yankees threw in some cash. The ChiSox could have to give up something valuable for him – maybe a relief pitcher or an infielder, but for Stanton as full-time DH, it would be worth it. (He’s only 28 years old).
Stanton reportedly has a no-trade clause, so it would not be easy to move him anywhere. But, could you imagine Stanton at Guaranteed Rate Field? In New York, he’s one of many stars, but on the Southside, he would be THE Star. Even though he’s been a little streaky over the years, he still has a career batting slash of .268/.358/.548. In three seasons, he had the highest slugging percentage in the NL.
For comparison, of daily players, the highest slugging percentage in 2018 belonged to Daniel Palka who finished the season with a slash of .240/.294/.484. After that, Jose Abreu finished the season with a slash of .265/.325/.473. Stanton has had three seasons with slugging percentages over .600, including .631 in 2017. That same season, Abreu had a slugging percentage of .552. That was a good year.
The Yankees cannot have all of the nice things. Yes, the team can afford it, but rosters can’t always accommodate. If the Yankees have to make a choice between Judge, Stanton, Harper, and the rest, maybe, just maybe, one of those nice things could come to the Southside? …. Please?…. Pretty please?