New York Yankees: Reassessing the Stanton-Castro trade

TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 24: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees reacts after getting out in the third inning during the Pittsburgh Piratesspring training game against the at Steinbrenner Field on February 24, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 24: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees reacts after getting out in the third inning during the Pittsburgh Piratesspring training game against the at Steinbrenner Field on February 24, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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New Yankee Giancarlo Stanton on opening day of the 2018 season. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
New Yankee Giancarlo Stanton on opening day of the 2018 season. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees: Reassessing the Stanton-Castro trade

The Cost

Money is an often-overlooked factor in evaluating trades. That’s because even a big stack of currency doesn’t play second base, and it doesn’t hit left-handed pitching.

It is, however, a tangible influence both on team profitability and on roster composition. The money you spend on one player is money you can’t spend on somebody else. In that sense, money has to produce.

Over the first two years of his deal, Stanton cost the New York Yankees $51 million. That’s more than twice the $22.7 million the Marlins paid Castro. As we’ve already noted, both teams received nearly equal production – as measured by Wins Above Replacement – while Stanton actually damaged New York’s postseason hopes.

Going forward, the financial side is even more favorable to Miami. Castro, who left Miami as a free agent at the end of the 2019 season, costs the Marlins nothing going forward. They of course also lose his production, but they’re OK with that. Castro turns 30 this year and figured to be replaced by the fast-rising Isan Diaz either this year or next.

By contrast, the Yankees remain on the hook to Stanton for $26 million this season, then the better part of $209 million more through 2027. (Miami will pay $20 million of that in 2026 and 2027. New York also has a $25 million club option for 2028, and the Marlins owe a $10 million buyout if New York declines that option. Finally, Stanton has an opt-out after 2020; if he declines, the Marlins must pay $30 million.

light. More. MLB free agents: When millionaires are the dregs

The problem is that Stanton also turns 30 this season, and he is showing every sign of being an injury-plagued asset going forward. Even at his best, health has been a question. Since 2011, he’s averaged just 118 games per season, and only four times has played more than 116 games.

So it’s a fair question whether the Yankees have to assume they’re paying all that money for a part-timer.