LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Now slugging for the Bronx Bombers, Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton’s trade to the New York Yankees from Miami was finalized Monday, a deal that sent second baseman Starlin Castro and two minor leaguers to the Marlins for the NL MVP.
“They’re winners,” Stanton said during a news conference on the opening day of the winter meetings. “They’re young and they’re in a good position to win for a long time, and I lost for a long time. So I want to change that dynamic and be a winner.”
He joins a team that reached Game 7 of the AL Championship Series against Houston with a young roster that includes young sluggers Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird. The Yankees expect top infield prospect Gleyber Torres to join the big league team next season.
“New York’s a marquee town, and I think it’s important to have some marquee players,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said. “But more important than that, I think it’s important to have veteran players that could be mentors for the young kids.”
Stanton, a 28-year-old who like Judge plays right field, is owed $295 million over the final decade of his record $325 million, 13-year contract. The Marlins, with former Yankees star Derek Jeter as their new CEO, will send $30 million to the Yankees if Stanton doesn’t exercise his right to opt out of the deal and become a free agent after the 2020 season: $5 million each on July 1 and Oct. 1 in 2026, 2027 and 2028. Under a change in baseball’s new labor contract, that money will be prorated for the luxury tax and Stanton will count as $22 million annually.
“I wouldn’t say sad day,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “It’s a win-win for both sides. … I know Giancarlo made it clear midway through the 2017 season he didn’t want to be part of a rebuild.”
Stanton led the majors with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs last season. Judge was second in the majors with 52 homers, New York topped baseball with 241 home runs last season, and the daunting duo figures to create must-see BP before games.
Stanton will keep his No. 27 jersey.
His contract includes a no-trade provision, and last week he turned down prospective deals to St. Louis and San Francisco. He told the Marlins he was willing to accept trades only to the Yankees, his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers, the Astros and Chicago Cubs.
“I would have been putting it over the hump rather than jumping into a team already prepared to be there,” he said.
Having grown up in Southern California, going to the Giants was a particular difficultly.
“I wouldn’t base a decision off that, but also I wouldn’t want to go to a team that they disliked the most — and wasn’t sure if they were going to beat that team, either,” he said.
New York hasn’t had a losing record since 1992. The Marlins haven’t had a winning season since Stanton made his big league debut for them in 2010.
“He spends his Octobers in Europe,” said Stanton’s agent, Joel Wolfe. “It was killing him.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke briefly with Hill about Stanton at last month’s GM meetings but didn’t move forward, wanting to save designated hitter at-bats in case New York reached agreement with Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Ohtani. But Ohtani eliminated all East Coast teams.
“I felt maybe Wednesday of last week I thought it was not going to happen,” Cashman said. “And then he re-engaged me Thursday,”
By Thursday night, a tentative agreement was in place. Stanton said he would approve, but Wolfe told him to sleep on it.
“I told him I’m sleeping in, so if there’s some deadline just go ahead and say yeah,” Stanton said with a smile.
Steinbrenner has vowed to reduce payroll from this year’s roughly $209 million to below next year’s $197 million threshold, which would reset the team’s base tax rate from 50 percent to 20 percent in 2019.
Under baseball’s previous labor contract, the money the Marlins pay the Yankees would be included “in the contract year in which the cash consideration is paid.” However, under the new deal Article XXIII (C) (2) (b) (ii) was changed to have it count “on a pro-rata basis over the remaining guaranteed years of the assigned contract.”