Giancarlo Stanton, the most sought-after man on the trade market this offseason, has finally agreed to waive his full no-trade clause and accept a deal to go to the Yankees.
Let’s look at the winners and losers from this massive trade between the Marlins and the Yankees that took place Saturday morning.
Giancarlo Stanton: The reigning National League MVP got his wish to play for a contending team on one of the geographic coasts. What better place for him to be than in New York and with the Yankees, the most storied franchise in baseball. There was a ton of speculation that he wanted to go to the West Coast, particularly to the Dodgers (more on this later) because he is a California native, but winning certainly trumped that notion. Stanton, who hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 RBI in 159 games for the Marlins in 2017, is the first reigning MVP to be traded during the offseason since Alex Rodriguez was dealt from the Rangers to the Yankees in February 2004. Now that he Rodriguez’s footsteps and deliver the Yankees a World Series crown.
New York Yankees: The Yankees, who fell one win shy of making the World Series last year, have made a move in which puts them as a bonafide favorite to win it all this year. By acquiring Stanton, the Yankees now have one of the most dynamic power duos with him and Aaron Judge, who blasted 52 homers en route to earning AL Rookie of the Year honors and finishing second in the AL MVP voting. Stanton’s presence will certainly boost a lineup that also includes Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious. More importantly, the Yankees did not have to give up their top prospects and they have Stanton for the next 10 years, giving them the pieces they feel can help them compete for multiple championships in the near future.
Miami Marlins: Yes, the Marlins and new CEO Derek Jeter did trade Stanton and his massive contract (10 years, $295 million with a $25 million club option for 2028, with the Yankees paying roughly $265 million of it), but it was not the ideal trade they wanted to make. Their top choices to deal Stanton to were the Giants and the Cardinals. They had trade agreements in place with both franchises, but they bowed out after Stanton declined both deals. The power of Stanton’s no-trade clause backed Jeter and the Marlins into a corner to the point where the Yankees took advantage of the situation. The Marlins will get infielder Starlin Castro and mid-range prospects Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers in return, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, but there are already rumors they may want to try to flip Castro in order to continue their mission of shedding payroll.
San Francisco Giants: The Giants seemed like they were going to be the team to get Stanton. Reports indicated that they had the means to take on Stanton’s contract and they fit Stanton’s criteria of playing for a winning team (they are winners of three World Series titles since 2010) and are on a geographic coast (West Coast). But, Stanton’s decision to “explore other options,” according to the Giants’ statement on the matter, did not allow that possibility to come to fruition. The Giants, coming off a 64-98 season in 2017, now have to look for other options to help their lineup, which finished last in the league in home runs (128), slugging percentage (.380), and OPS (.689) in 2017. They started to do so, as they have “significant interest” in the Brewers’ Domingo Santana.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals had been a big contender for Stanton throughout the offseason, but that all seemed to change on Dec. 2 when it was reported that there was growing doubt that Stanton would really accept a deal from St. Louis. Even though the Cardinals have a history of success as well and they have a stable of pitching prospects that they were willing to part with, Stanton more than likely did not want to settle with a team from the Midwest knowing bigger franchises were out there and could make a play for him.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers were one of the top teams on Stanton’s priority list of clubs he said he would agree to a trade with. After all, Stanton was born in Panorama City, California and went to high school at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, which is 16 miles away from Dodger Stadium. However, the Dodgers had issues in trade talks with the Marlins, mainly over the luxury tax threshold (they are about $50 million over it). In addition, they have a loaded outfield and they usually prefer not to do long-term deals like the one Stanton has, making it hard for them to progress in their discussions for the right fielder. The Dodgers, who lost to the Astros in the World Series in seven games, will now have to shift gears to their other priorities this offseason (starting pitching, relief pitching, right-handed hitting left fielder) as the Winter Meetings set to kick off Sunday.