In eight seasons with the Miami Marlins, behemoth slugger Giancarlo Stanton never played for a team with a winning record. But now, the reigning National League MVP will join a club that is being recognized as the favorite to win a World Series title in 2018.
According to Bovada.lv, the Yankees are listed as 5-to-1 favorites to win the Fall Classic next season, followed by the defending champion Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, both at 6-to-1.
On Monday afternoon, Stanton was publicly introduced as the newest member of the Yankees before the press at MLB’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida. The 28-year-old outfielder, who has 10-years and $295 million remaining on his recording-breaking contract, told reporters that he is eager to join a franchise with “a winning environment and a winning culture.”
“Just watching them from afar, seeing their young, dynamic group, the way they flow together on the field, how they never give up, never quit, the atmosphere, the storied franchise,” Stanton said during the press conference. “There’s not much you can say about why you wouldn’t want to be there. They’re for sure on the list of where I want to be.”
Following the press conference, Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman, owner Hal Steinbrenner, and manager Aaron Boone spoke to the media about the blockbuster trade, and the club’s plans with Stanton coming aboard.
Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman
On the process of acquiring Stanton from the Marlins:
“I put my toe in the water down at the GM Meetings,” Cashman told ESPN Radio’s The Michael Kay Show. “I think all of the people that do the job I do, you learn over time that you need to just kind of assess every opportunity that may be available, even if it doesn’t look like it’s a perfect fit. During the [Shohei] Ohtani sweepstakes, we needed to keep that DH spot option for the two-way player in the event he came our way. But despite that, I did engage the Marlins a little bit at the GM Meetings. And then once Ohtani declared himself as nowhere interested in coming to anything on the east coast here, I was able to engage a lot more serious with certain parameters needing to be met with the Marlins. It didn’t seem like it was something that was viable from their perspective. They had better deals from their assessment elsewhere. I don’t know what those deals were. So, that’s how it led to the Giants and Cardinals having deals in place and trying to convince Stanton to waive it to go those routes.
“I stayed engaged as of Wednesday of last week. I felt there was no chance of anything happening and actually wished the Marlins luck — Michael Hill, specifically, the general manager, my counterpart… He re-engaged Thursday of last week — about four in the afternoon — and then we worked the rest of the evening, deep into the night. He rejected my ideas, me rejecting his until we finally settled. But it was on Thursday by him re-engaging me more along the parameters that we had in place to make it fit, that that was like, ‘Wow, this really might have a chance here.'”
On if the Stanton trade came with trepidation:
“I can’t speak on ownership. On my part, there’s trepidation on every decision I make. It doesn’t matter. Even the one’s right now that we get praised at for working out and stuff, every move we make, you always get buyer’s remorse. I think it’s a natural part of the process. What you try to do is make the right decisions that you think will serve this franchise well in the present and the future. And obviously, the goal is to win. Ultimately, every effort we’re trying to make is getting us closer to the next championship team that we can be proud of. But, I get trepidation all the time. I think that’s natural, I think it’s healthy. But, obviously, you still have to go all-in if you think it’s the right move, and you have to credit the Steinbrenner family for taking on the type of commitment because it is a big one, and ten years is a long time.”
On the possibility of the Yankees staying under the luxury tax threshold:
“We’re under the treshold still. With the Marlins, it had to work in a circumstance for us that allowed us to acquire this high-end talent, but allow us to remain under the luxury tax — which we’re going to reset this year — as well as provide cushion left because we have a full season of play with the trade deadline and September callups and incentives that people can make in their contracts that all have to be accounted for that will allow us to remain under the tax. So, I can tell you that we’re under the threshold still, with a cushion, and we’ll see if we’re able to accomplish the goal. That’s the intent and we’re still in line to do that.”
Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner
On making the big splash for Stanton:
“It’s very exciting,” Steinbrenner told the YES Network’s Yankees Hot Stove. “He’s a very special player, and as everybody’s starting to realize, a real special human being as well. Everybody that’s come in contact with him has really been pleasantly surprised, and he seems down to earth. He’s going to be great with this young team, great with this clubhouse. We’re excited.
“We feel like we have a great clubhouse. This is a very, very young exciting group of players and they’re very good human beings. We want to keep something like that going. I think he’s going to fit right in.”
On if the “Evil Empire” has returned with big, bold moves:
“This is New York. It’s a marquee town, we all know that. But equally important to me is the fact that we’re getting another good veteran that can be a mentor to our younger players. We’ve got a lot more younger players coming, and even the younger players that have been here a year, there’s still a lot to learn — even at this level. And this guy’s got a lot of knowledge.”
On how any leftover money will be allocated this season:
“This is the beginning of the process, these meetings. We’ve been busy with Aaron [Boone], the coaching staff, and a lot of other things. But we’re not done yet. We’re not done yet. My goal is to still be under that threshold and we’ve got some money to spend and we’ll see what else shakes out in the weeks to come… Every dollar I can possibly put back into the club — which, I think my family has a pretty good track record of — we’re going to do it.”
Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone
On learning about the trade for Stanton:
“I was at Yankee Stadium, and we were spending the day interviewing a couple of candidates for coaching positions,” Boone told SiriusXM MLB Network Radio. “We were getting ready to start one of the interviews, and we’re up in kind of the war room outside of Cash’s office and Cash comes in and calls me into his office and says, ‘I think we got Giancarlo.’ And I was like, ‘Wow. This job’s pretty cool so far, right?’
“I mean, I was excited before Giancarlo. We feel like we have a great team in place. A great, young team in place. And now you add the National League MVP, a guy that’s obviously in the prime of his career, a guy that’s coming off such an amazing season. But in just talking to him before our press conference and hanging with him, this is a guy who’s really smart and really hungry, and I think he knows where he’s going and the responsbility that comes with that.”