Giancarlo Stanton was definitely thinking home run. In a rare visit to the Rangers, one of the few ballparks the Marlins slugger hasn’t homered in, Stanton realized this might be his last chance for a while to notch it on his belt. (Well, his last chance for a while unless he becomes a Yankee soon. See below. Gulp.)
“I do want to homer in all ballparks,” Stanton said. “I remember watching a game when I was little and Barry [Bonds], I don’t know which park it was, but he finally got his last one. I thought last night that I needed to get one.”
Well, he got two. Stanton went yard twice in Miami’s 4-0 win in Arlington—In just eight years in the big leagues, Stanton has now gone deep in 26 different stadiums, including two that no longer exist, and has only six more ballparks left on his list.
Stanton is the hottest slugger in baseball. Those were homers Nos. 31 and 32, tying Aaron Judge, who was idle last night, for tops in MLB. He has six dingers in his last seven games, and 11 in the month of July, even with the All-Star break. (The record is 16 homers in a month, reached by Albert Belle in ‘98 and Mark McGwire in ‘99.)
The Stanton-Judge home run race will be a fun thing to watch down the season’s stretch run, but the Yankees got to thinking: What if, instead of a McGwire-Sosa-type rivalry, what if it was more Maris-Mantle, and they were competing as teammates?
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that the Yankees called the Marlins to see if Stanton is available in a trade. Talks reportedly haven’t progressed—that will be up to the franchise’s next owners—but there’s reason to believe Stanton may eventually be put on the block: With the Marlins to be sold soon, the new owners may want to clear the 10 years and $295 million still remaining on his contract after this season. (He does have an opt-out after the 2020 season.) The Yankees are one of the few teams that could handle a contract like that, though the Giants, Cardinals, and Phillies have reportedly shown interest in Stanton too.
It feels weird to say this because every team could use a hitter like Giancarlo Stanton, but: the Yankees don’t really need him. They’ve got a talented young outfield of Judge, Clint Frazier, and Aaron Hicks, when he returns from injury, and even Brett Gardner is signed for another year. Jacoby Ellsbury is a very expensive fifth outfielder, though you can expect the Yankees to soon get rid of him one way or another. And this doesn’t even take into account the impending free agency of Bryce Harper, who’s been named as a strong Yankee target for years and years. The Yankees have outfielders, and those are a lot easier to find than, say, corner infielders like Manny Machado, who like Harper will be a free agent after next season and is reportedly on the Yankees’ wish list.
It’s still fun and a little scary to picture Stanton and Judge hitting back-to-back in the heart of the order, and the Yankees, with a ton of good young players and more on the way, promise to be very good for a very long time. So it’s maybe not crazy to kick the tires on a 27-year-old superstar slugger with a deal that’s going to look downright reasonable once Harper gets paid. Maybe the Yankees don’t necessarily need Stanton, but I sure bet they could find a spot for him if they get him.