A recent trade proposal between the Cubs and Yankees is a head-scratcher.
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman suggests the Chicago Cubs trade Yu Darvish, Craig Kimbrel, and Jason Heyward to the New York Yankees for Giancarlo Stanton. This is a salary dump trade for the Yankees, who, like the Cubs, could likely be looking to lower their salary for 2021, but this may not really lower the payroll at all for either side.
According to Spotrac, Heyward has three years left on his deal, worth $65 million. Kimbrel has one year worth $16 million, plus a possible vesting option worth another $16 million. Darvish has three years worth $59 million. Altogether, that’s $140 million, which can be $156 million if Kimbrel’s option vests. Stanton has seven years left, worth $208 million on his contract. There is a club option in 2028 that’s worth another potential $25 million.
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Making a trade for Stanton at that salary doesn’t make much sense, especially given his injury history. He is 31 years old, and with the DH’s status in the National League up in the air, they just don’t have a place for Stanton to play. He can’t be trusted to stay healthy enough to play the outfield every day at this stage of his career.
Furthermore, if they did make a trade for Stanton, they end up adding to their payroll with just one guy, rather than detracting from the payroll. Looking at the roster just for 2021, this trade does not make the Northsider’s better; in fact, it likely makes them worse. They have no replacement for Darvish, and I don’t think they are too keen on letting Albert Almora get everyday at-bats anymore, who would likely be the Heyward replacement.
Let’s not forget that Kimbrel pitched very well down the stretch for the Cubs, and they hope he can continue the momentum next year. The Yankees, however, get drastically better. Darvish would slot in right behind Gerrit Cole atop the rotation. Kimbrel would go into the already dynamite Yankee bullpen and Heyward could theoretically be the Brett Gardner replacement if the Yankees don’t bring him back.
Darvish anchored the rotation in 2020 and finished as a Cy Young finalist. The winner will be announced on November 11. The other two finalists are Trevor Bauer and Jacob deGrom, who is looking to win his third-straight Cy Young award.
Long story short, this trade makes no sense for the team and is very lopsided in the Yankees favor. Given the Cubs’ financial situation and the lack of moves the last two offseasons, fans shouldn’t expect much else this offseason either. Stanton would be a nice addition to the lineup, but it just doesn’t make much sense, given his history and money.