by Howie Karpin/The NY Extra/thenyextra.com
It’s become quite apparent that Giancarlo Stanton being locked in at DH limits the options that the Yankees have to amend what is a flawed roster.
Consider the fact that the Yankees desperately need left handed hitting. During the previous off season, Kyle Schwarber was on the free agent market but the Yankees were reportedly hesitant to pursue the left hand hitting slugger because their assessment was that he couldn’t play the outfield and was blocked at DH by Stanton. Schwarber is currently on the IL but you get the point. If Stanton was playing a position, maybe Schwarber would be in pinstripes.
The Yankees are stuck with Stanton and their options are limited. He has a full no-trade clause and though, the Marlins are paying some of the contract, how many teams can absorb his deal.
Stanton is still only 31 years old and the Yankees could commit to him playing a lot more in the outfield in 2022, but I had an “outside the box” idea. This may sound crazy but why not try to see if Stanton could play first base?
Maybe the Yankees could approach Stanton with the idea. See what his reaction is and whether he would be amenable to doing that. If the answer is yes, they could start working on it in spring training next year.
Stanton’s numbers have dropped off since he came to the Yankees. He doesn’t complain about it, but maybe this DH thing, on an everyday basis, is not for him. Some players don’t adjust well to an everyday DH role and playing defense helps them with their offensive game.
If Stanton is going to be here, the Yankees have to find a way to maximize his use, other than as a DH.
The first week of the nominal second half has shown how important the Mets’ offense is going to be in the final two and a half months of the season.
The production that was expected from the Mets lineup at the start of the season is starting to come to the forefront and better late than never. With Jacob deGrom’s health up in the air and Francisco Lindor on the IL, it’s going to be up to the offense to pick up the slack and do their part until things can get settled, one way or another, with the injury situation.
Don’t underestimate the character and make up of this Mets’ team. The line from the Buffalo Springfield song, “For What It’s Worth,” may aptly describe the 2021 Mets. “There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear.”
The July 30th trade deadline is fast approaching. Don’t look for anything major from the Yankees. They’re in the market for a center fielder but I don’t think they’ll bite for Starling Marte because the price may be too high, even though he’s a free agent.
Yankees may look to the Royals for center fielder Michael A. Taylor, who is also a free agent at the end of the season and would come at a cheaper price than Marte. Don’t forget, the Yankees are counting on Aaron Hicks to return in 2022 so they probably won’t make a long term commitment at that spot.
If the Yankees do fall out of the playoff race, they should promote Estevan Florial and let him play out the rest of the season so they can get an idea of what they’ve got.
There are reports that the Mets may be showing interest in acquiring impending free agent and former NL MVP Kris Bryant, but with Edwin Diaz’ recent struggles, they will need to bring in an arm or two to fortify the pen.
The Cubs have put Craig Kimbrel on the block, but he could come with an expensive price tag and he has a vesting club option for 2022 that includes a $1 million dollar buyout.
A name to keep an eye on is Angels’ closer Raisel Iglesias, the closer for the Angels. Iglesias has converted 15 of his 16 save opportunities. The Mets will keeping an eye out there.
Available starters include the Twins Jose Berrios, Rockies’ Jon Gray and the Rangers’ Kyle Gibson. Minnesota will ask a lot for Berrios who is not eligible for free agency until after next season. Gibson’s stock has fallen off of two brutal outings, but he is under control for next season and Texas is looking to capitalize with a nice return.