Should the New York Yankees check the trade market for potential replacements for injured star Giancarlo Stanton?
For the second time this season, the New York Yankees will be without the services of superstar slugger Giancarlo Stanton. This time, it’s a knee injury, and Stanton will be out until at least August. He returned from his biceps strain and had just enough time to hit his first home run of the season before landing right back on the injured list. While the injury doesn’t appear serious, neither did the arm injury that kept Stanton out for over two months.
Dealing with another injury isn’t likely to set the Yankees back much given the laundry list of other stars the team has already lost to the injured list at various times this season. They’re in first place with a sizable lead and just tied the Minnesota Twins for best record in the American League. The Yankees have won 11 of their last 12 games and have one of the most well-rounded lineups in baseball.
Starting pitching is the more likely area of focus for the Yankees front office at the trade deadline, but they should at least be monitoring the market for hitters while Stanton is out. Another injury to Aaron Judge or one of their remaining healthy outfielders could force a move. Doing a little due diligence now could pay off if a more pressing need for a bat develops.
5. Carlos Santana
There has not yet been an indication that the Cleveland Indians will be sellers at the trade deadline. They have shaken off their 29-30 start to win 15 of 21 games and claw back into the race for one of the American League’s Wild Cards. A weak schedule down the stretch against the AL Central could be enough to propel them back into the playoffs. The Indians have somehow managed to get hot without Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Mike Clevinger, Danny Salazar, a shoddy bullpen and next to no production from their entire outfield and two-time Silver Slugger Jose Ramirez.
The Indians are still in the playoff hunt, but could fall out quickly if things head south in July. Any indication that the postseason is not going to happen this year could prompt management to begin looking into selling off a few valuable assets. Remember — they were shopping Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer this winter. Aside from Bauer, the best trade chip the Indians have to offer is first baseman/DH Carlos Santana who is having a career year and was just elected to start the All-Star Game.
Santana isn’t an ideal fit for the Yankees considering they just traded for Edwin Encarnacion (who was traded for Santana last winter, coincidentally enough), but there could be a way to make it work if he becomes available. Encarnacion and Luke Voit have been sharing the at-bats between first base and DH, but both hit right-handed. Santana is a switch hitter and has a .975 OPS against right-handed pitching this year. What it boils down to is this — the Indians All-Star is a better version of Encarnacion. All things being equal, the Yankees should much prefer Santana.