10:56am: Jon Heyman of FanRag reports via Twitter that the Yankees will receive about $35MM from the Marlins in the deal, and confirms that they’ll send back Castro and prospects. Heyman also adds in a separate tweet that Stanton is on his way to NYC for a physical, making it clear that he is waiving his no-trade clause.
10:35am: A source close to Morosi confirms Rosenthal’s report that Stanton is expected to approve the trade.
9:56am: A last-ditch effort to acquire Stanton today by the Dodgers is unlikely, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports hears (Twitter link).
9:33am: The main prospects that would be headed back in the deal are down in the lower levels of the Yankees’ minor league system, Sherman adds.
9:20am: Sherman hears that Castro is the only veteran going back to the Marlins in the deal (Twitter link). The other players going to Miami are Yankees prospects, though not their “best.”
8:49am: The expectation is that Stanton will approve the trade, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Rosenthal also mentions that the deal is pending physicals, which seem to be the only real item standing in the way of the trade being considered complete.
7:14am: The Yankees and Marlins have a deal for Giancarlo Stanton, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The deal is still subject to Stanton’s approval, as the slugger has full no-trade rights. Several hours prior, Joel Sherman of the New York Post called the deal “virtually done,” noting the Marlins will receive second baseman Starlin Castro “plus good but not top prospects” if completed. Before that, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle had reported the deal as “close if not done.”
Yesterday, Stanton rejected trades to the Cardinals and Giants. Previous reporting has indicated that the Yankees are on the short list of teams to which Stanton would be willing to be traded, so his approval in this case may not be a major hurdle. Stanton will also need to pass a physical by the Yankees, as Sherman has noted.
The pairing of Giancarlo Stanton with Aaron Judge will be one for the ages. Stanton just took home the NL MVP award with an epic 59 home run season, a level that had not been reached since Barry Bonds in 2001. Meanwhile, Judge won the American League Rookie of the Year award and finished second in the AL MVP voting with 52 bombs, a rookie record. Throw in catcher Gary Sanchez, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman has assembled a Murderers’ Row of right-handed sluggers.
Earlier this year, the Marlins were purchased by a group led by former Yankees great Derek Jeter, as well as investor Bruce Sherman. The pair chose to keep alive the Marlins’ fire sale tradition, intent on moving Stanton because of the massive contract he signed under previous owner Jeffrey Loria three years ago. The Marlins’ leverage was clearly reduced after Stanton rejected trades to the Cardinals and Giants. Stanton, 28, is still owed $295MM over the next ten years. After the 2020 season, he has the right to opt out of the remaining seven years and $218MM, which will be a source of significant downside risk for the Yankees. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has expressed his commitment to getting the team’s payroll under the $197MM luxury tax threshold, which isn’t easy to do while adding Stanton’s contract. Sending Castro to the Marlins removes a two-year, $22MM commitment. However, as Sherman points out, the average annual value of Castro’s contract is what counts towards the tax; that figure is $8.6MM.
It’s certainly too early to say this for certain, but the impact of this trade could even reach next year’s free agent market, as Mark Zuckerman notes on Twitter. The Yankees have long been considered one of the best potential suitors for former NL MVP Bryce Harper, but may not have room for him in their outfield (or potentially their 2019 payroll) any longer. It would be hard to imagine them using one of Judge, Stanton or Harper exclusively as a designated hitter, and none of them are likely candidates to play anywhere on the field besides the outfield corners.
The deal will also come with significant risk for the Yankees. As Eno Sarris of Fangraphs pointed out back in November, it’s hard to know how the reigning NL MVP will age. Stanton also missed large portions of the 2015 and 2016 seasons with a broken hand and a groin strain, respectively. Add that injury history into the mix, and there’s a number of scenarios that end with Stanton’s contract becoming a significant albatross for the Yankees during the final years of the deal. This doesn’t necessarily detract from the fact that New York is in a much better position over the next few years due to the slugging outfielder’s presence, but it’s certainly a notable concern.
Acquiring Stanton should help soften the blow for the Yankees of seeing Shohei Ohtani agree to terms with the Angels. Last week, the Bombers were considered strong suitors for the services of the two-way Japanese phenom, and didn’t seem like serious contenders to land Stanton in a trade. While the Yanks will still want to make a big improvement to their pitching staff, Stanton adds similar value to their roster overall, and perhaps allows them to be more aggressive in shopping outfielder Clint Frazier for cost-controlled starting pitchers (hat tip to Joel Sherman).
The Miami Marlins originally took Stanton with the 76th overall pick in the 2007 draft (second round). After a hot start with the Marlins’ Double-A affiliate three years later, the team decided to promote him straight to the majors, skipping Triple-A entirely. Stanton stuck in the majors and has been a power monster ever since; he’s already socked 267 home runs over the course of his career to go with a .268/.360/.554 career slash line. While he’s dealt with a plethora of injuries that have caused him to miss time in four of his seven full seasons, the Sherman Oaks, California high school product has averaged roughly 4.5 WAR during that time. 2017 was Stanton’s best season yet; not only did he mash a career-high 59 homers, but he cut his strikeout rate down to a career-low 23.6%. Ultimately, he was rewarded with the National League’s MVP honors for his tremendous year.