Yankees acquire Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins
In a career built on stealth imperialism, Brian Cashman may have just completed his greatest heist to date. A master of unexpected acquisitions, the New York Yankees’ general manager somehow found a way to add Giancarlo Stanton, baseball’s most destructive power hitter, to an already imposing lineup today. Rival executives are once again left pondering how the little weasel does it every winter.
Mike Trout is a more refined genius, and Bryce Harper has a sharper toolbox, but Giancarlo Stanton is the most exciting player in Major League Baseball. With smouldering good looks and comic book biceps, he is lauded by neutrals who gaze agog at his superhuman feats on the diamond. Putting that turbocharged act in pinstripes will only heighten the drama, and perhaps the only comparable act is his new teammate, Aaron Judge.
Why the Miami Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton
The reigning National League MVP, Stanton is still owed $295 million through the final decade of a gargantuan 13-year, $325 million pact he signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014. No professional athlete has ever received a more lucrative contract.
Last season, he delivered on those enormous expectations, leading the majors with 59 home runs, the most by any player in any season since Barry Bonds’ record 73 in 2001. Still, the perpetually schizophrenic Marlins sought an exit strategy with their 28-year old superstar, whose albatross deal made him almost omnipotent in Miami.
Yankees legend Derek Jeter seized control of the Marlins in September, promising a fresh approach in a jaded market. Instead, Jeter has delivered more of the same frustration to impatient Marlins fans, slashing and burning resources like an angelic Jeffrey Loria imitation act.
Shopping Stanton was Jeter’s first priority, perhaps in an egotistical bid to consolidate power, and despite the monumental contract, he was not short of suitors.
According to industry whispers, moving to the West Coast was the preferred outcome of Stanton, a California kid. The San Francisco Giants worked on a potential deal, only for Stanton to exercise his no-trade clause, nixing the blockbuster. The St Louis Cardinals met a similar roadblock, failing in their efforts to land the big fish.
A childhood Dodgers fan, Stanton yearned for Chavez Ravine. Los Angeles was interested in bringing Giancarlo home, too, but it was outmanoeuvred by the Yankees.
Just as he did with Aroldis Chapman, Alex Rodriguez and a host of other stars down the years, Cashman swooped in to capitalise on a glimmer of opportunity, turning Starlin Castro and a pair of minor leaguers into one of the game’s deadliest power combinations.
How Brian Cashman lured Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees
The Marlins will send $30 million to the Yankees if Stanton does not exercise his right to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent after the 2020 season. Those cash injections will be staggered, with $5 million instalments arriving in July and October of 2026, 2027 and 2028, respectively.
Under a change in baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, that money will be prorated, meaning that Stanton will effectively earn $22 million annually for luxury tax purposes. Yet another win for Cashman and Steinbrenner in their nimble revolution.
The Yankees led Major League Baseball with 241 home runs in 2017. According to Elias, the 2018 Yankees will therefore be just the second team in history to acquire the big league home run champion after leading the majors in homers the previous year. The other team? Why, the 1920 Yankees, of course, who added a certain George Herman Ruth to a thunderous lineup. We all know how that ended.
Likewise, this is just the second time in baseball history that an MVP was traded in the offseason. Unsurprising, both deals were brokered by Cashman, baseball’s chameleon bombardier, as Giancarlo Stanton follows A-Rod in drinking from that particular chalice.
Ruth eventually teamed with Lou Gehrig, while Rodriguez was of course a reluctant wingman to Jeter. Stanton teams with Aaron Judge, the smiley behemoth with adoring fans, to create the next fearsome double act in Yankees history.
Stanton and Judge combined for 111 home runs and 246 RBI last season. They are the two greatest power hitters in the game today. Now new Yankees manager Aaron Boone gets to pencil them back-to-back on his lineup card. The possibilities are endless.
A team that came within one win of reaching the World Series just added the National League MVP to its roster. The Yankees already have the reigning Rookie of the Year, while Boone figures to provide a jolt of positivity to a tight locker room.
Without doubt, the Bronx Bombers just became favourites to win another world championship. And, when all is said and done, that is still Cashman’s defining quest: to see his offseason moves yield another parade in the fall.
- Yankees acquire Aroldis Chapman from Reds
- Yankees hire Aaron Boone as manager after firing Joe Girardi
- Derek Jeter group buys the Miami Marlins
- Yankees' Aaron Judge breaks rookie home run record with 50th bomb
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Ryan Ferguson is the author of Conflict: The Yankees, the Red Sox and the War for My Heart, available now in paperback and Kindle formats through Amazon. Click the link below to get your copy now!