Major League Baseball's tectonic plates moved early Saturday morning as the Miami Marlins reached a deal to send star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees, according to the Associated Press.
Stanton, the National League's reigning MVP and baseball's 2017 home run leader, had spent his entire career with the Marlins. Since his 2010 debut, Stanton has been an all-star four times and also led the NL in slugging three times. Prior to the move, Stanton had originally signed on with the Marlins for what looked like the long-term, penning a 13-year, $325 million contract which included an average annual salary of $25 million.
The move for Stanton completes a huge haul of top players by the Yankees, which began over a year ago. Prior to the start of 2017, the Yankees re-sign closing pitchers Aroldis Chapman, who led the Bronx Bombers just a few months earlier to join the Chicago Cubs, 2016's World Series winner. And before the close of last season's trade deadline, the Yankees prepared for the playoffs by adding relievers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson, acquired in a deal with the Chicago White Sox that also got the Yanks third baseman Todd Frazier, now a free agent.
But the bigger picture, perhaps, for the Yankees and their fans is what Stanton adds to the batting order. Stanton will add huge depth to a Yankees team that was written of by much of the press in 2017 but won 91 games and got within one game of the World Series.
This season, Yankees rookie Aaron Judge became a breakout star, smashing Major League Baseball's all-time home run record for a rookie. In addition to winning the American League's Rookie of the Year Award unanimously in the voting, Judge also hit 52 homers, second in all of baseball only to Stanton. According to ESPN, the Yankees were the American League's second-best in team hitting while also leading both leagues in home run production.
On an individual level, the 28-year-old Stanton had his best hitting season ever, adding to his personal best 59 home runs a total of 132 runs batted in (RBIs), and a .631 slugging, both of which led the National League.
For the Marlins, unloading Stanton's huge contract gives the Florida club much more breathing room to make trades and build up their roster. Despite having Stanton and a handful of other exciting players, such as sluggers Marcel Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto, and stolen bases leader Dee Gordon ( just traded to Seattle) the Marlins failed to register a season above a .500 more than twice in the last decade. Likewise, the Marlins have missed the postseason every year since their 2003 World Series title.
Eventually, as calls for a different direction in Miami beckoned, a group of suitors led by 14-time all-star and New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter announced this fall that they had bought the club. Under Jeter change came quickly, with Jeter reportedly firing nine existing Marlins executives, just one day after the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Meanwhile, Stanton, who had a no-trade clause as a part of his mammoth deal, expressed in October an interest in the Marlins' future while remaining open to other options, but it soon became clear that the Marlins aimed to unburden the team from his record contract.
Earlier this week, Stanton and his agent shut down the Marlins' trade discussions with both the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, forcing Miami leadership to begin more in-depth talks with the Yankees, one of the four teams reportedly on Stanton's list of franchises he would accept a trade to.
FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins will send Stanton and approximately $30 million to the Yankees in exchange for infielder Starlin Castro and a package of non-elite prospects.