Monday’s baseball: Stanton is happy to be with winner
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — 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, 28, 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 Dodgers, the Astros and 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.
“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.
Around the horn
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... Free-agent relief pitcher Pat Neshek is reportedly returning to the Phillies. Neshek will get a $16.5 million, two-year contact pending a successful physical.
Neshek, 37, was an All-Star last year in his first season in Philadelphia. The Phillies then traded him to playoff-contending Colorado in late July for three prospects.
... Tracy Stallard, the pitcher who gave up Roger Maris’ record 61st home run in 1961, died in Kingsport, Tennessee. He was 80.
... The Rangers and right-hander Chris Martin have agreed on a $4 million, two-year contract after the reliever spent the past two seasons in Japan.