Yankees GM Brian Cashman calls Giancarlo Stanton ‘injury prone,’ agent warns ‘never let your guard down’

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The New York Yankees made their first significant move of the offseason on Monday and named James Rowson their new hitting coach. Rowson previously worked in the New York farm system and is said to be close to Aaron Judge. The Yankees still need to hire a bench coach to replace Carlos Mendoza, who was officially named the manager of the New York Mets on Monday.

Hiring a new hitting coach certainly isn’t the big move Yankees fans want, although it was a necessary step this season. Now the Yankees need to improve the roster and give Rowson more to work with. That includes keeping Giancarlo Stanton on the field, something GM Brian Cashman admitted is unlikely at this point in Stanton’s career.

Here’s what Cashman said about Stanton at the GM Meetings in Scottsdale last week (according to the New York Daily News):

“We’ve got to get Stanton going again,” Cashman said in Arizona. “He’s injury prone. We’ve all lived it and we know it, but he’s never been hit when he’s playing, and this year is the first time that’s happened.”

“We try to limit the amount of time he’s down,” Cashman said. “But I’m not going to tell you that he’s going to play every game next year because he’s not. He’s going to get hurt soon. again more likely than not because it seems to be part of his game. But I know when he’s fit and healthy – except for this year – the guy is very successful and he’s be there for a long time.”

“He’s going to get hurt again more likely than not because it seems like it’s part of his game?” Oops. While certainly true, those are some pretty harsh words from the GM about a key member of the team.For what it’s worth, former Yankees (and Florida Marlins) teammate Cameron Maybin recently said he wasn’t sure Stanton wanted to end his career in pinstripes.

Needless to say, Cashman’s comments were not well received by Stanton’s corner. Because of Ken RosenthalStanton’s agent Joel Wolfe responded this way:

“I read the entire context of the interview. I think it’s a good reminder to the free agents who are considering signing in New York both foreign and domestic that you have to be made of Teflon, both mentally and physically, to play for that team. you can’t let your guard down even in the off-season.”

Consider this a not-so-obvious warning that Cashman’s public comments about Stanton could damage the Yankees’ reputation with players they might be interested in signing. For one, Wolfe also represents NPB ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is expected to be posted this season and who the Yankees reportedly very high.

As for Stanton, he has only played 391 of a possible 708 regular season games since 2019, or 55%. He had the worst season of his career in 2023, slashing .191/.275/.420 with 24 home runs in 101 games. That comes after the worst previous season of his career in 2022. Stanton, 34, hit .211/.297/.462 with 31 home runs in 110 games a year ago.

The Yankees finished 25th in runs and 24th in OPS in 2023, and while injury and Stanton’s underperformance contributed to that, Cashman didn’t build adequate depth to fill it. Willie Calhoun, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Billy McKinney, who combined for a .662 OPS.

It’s true that Stanton’s injuries have become seemingly inevitable and he hasn’t played in 2023. The bigger problem is Cashman’s roster build-up and no players with adequate depth to step up. came up, and did not, to add to the depth of their miseries.

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