The man who has always given us nothing took over control of personnel for the Miami Marlins, and again, gave us nothing. But this time, when Derek Jeter refused to answer questions regarding his plans for NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, it told us everything. The entire world knew Jeter wanted to unload the 10 year, $295 million remaining on Stanton’s contract, who wouldn’t? Stanton’s stock will never be higher. After a season where he slashed .281/.376/.631 with 59 dingers and 132 RBIs; this was the time for Miami to sell. The only problem was the dreaded no-trade clause. Stanton’s no-trade clause prevented two deals before the Yankees jumped in. The Marlins had deals in place with the Cardinals and the Giants prior to the Yankee deal. Stanton said no. He had that right, that’s what the clause is for, he doesn’t want to get traded to a terrible situation. He chose his situation. He chose the Yankees.
What does this mean for the 2018 fantasy baseball season? I believe Giancarlo Stanton should be drafted early. Very early. Trout, Altuve, Stanton? Maybe. The projected lineups I’ve seen have him sandwiched between Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. While as a Yankee fan, I’m not pleased with the deal they’ve made; as a fantasy fanatic, I think Stanton will put up crazy power numbers in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. With the protection of a guy like Gary Sanchez behind him in the order, Stanton should see much better pitches than he saw with Miami. I can certainly see Stanton flirting with 60 HRs again, and upwards of 115 RBIs in a lineup that will be absolutely loaded with power. The OBP of the lineup will worry me especially heading into the playoffs against the league’s best pitchers, but for fantasy sake, a team loaded with Yankees will most likely be a good one.
Starlin Castro is headed the other way. He was centerpiece of the deal on the Marlins’ side. When healthy, Castro is a top 5 offensive 2B in baseball. Health was a concern in 2017 where he missed 50 games with a hamstring issue. However, in his career, he’s remained very healthy. Playing at least 151 games in 5 of his 7 full seasons in the bigs. The problem is lineup protection. He’s headed to a Miami team that I don’t believe is done making moves. Dee Gordon has already been shipped to Seattle which opened up the 2B spot for the incoming Starlin Castro. Rumors are swirling around Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. The way it sits, I still see very good numbers for Castro, maybe a .285/.320/.415 type of slash getting close to 20 HRs and 75 RBIs. If Yelich and Ozuna are dealt, the run-producing numbers will be a bit lower.
The more under the radar fantasy impact: opposing starters. There’s no denying the run scoring potential of this Yankees lineup. Other than the Chris Sales and Corey Klubers of the world, who can neutralize anyone, guys facing the Yankees may want to have a designated spot on your bench for that start. Many starters could be in for long (or short) nights when facing this version of “Murderer’s Row” in the Bronx.