“This is going to be a great new chapter in my life and my career,” Stanton said after donning his new No. 27 Yankees jersey at a news conference at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida..
Stanton said that he spoke to new Marlins leader Derek Jeter about the direction of the franchise after the former Yankee shortstop’s ownership group took over. Stanton thought the club had a good lineup and needed to add pitching. Jeter thought the club needed to subtract assets to rebuild.
“This has been quite the experience, quite the road to get here,” Stanton said. “When I signed up in Miami I wanted things to work out and I had a good vision there, but sometimes things spiral out of place and you need to find a new home.”
When it became clear that Stanton would likely be moved, he gave the Marlins a list of teams he would accept a trade to. Jeter worked out possible deals with the Cardinals and Giants — two teams that weren’t on Stanton’s list.
Stanton met with the clubs but was not convinced to go off his list. He ended up in New York with fellow slugger Aaron Judge.
“We’re excited to get better together,” Stanton said, adding that it “doesn’t matter where I play” since both players were in right field last season.
Stanton added that he’s not worried about the pressure of playing in the Big Apple.
“This is what I’ve always wanted. This is what I’ve dreamed of,” he said.
Stanton was joined by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, new manager Aaron Boone and managing partner Hal Steinbrenner.
“Today is a celebration for the New York Yankees, for our fan base and a celebration of one of the great players in our sport: Giancarlo Stanton,” Boone said.
The Yankees made the trade for Stanton after the Jeter led Marlins placed him in the holiday season discount bin because the new ownership group in Miami wanted to rid themselves of the remaining 10 years and $295 million on his contract.
The Yankees got Stanton for Starlin Castro and second-tier Single-A prospects in pitcher Jorge Guzman and infielder Jose Devers. The Marlins also owe the Yankees’ $30 million.
The Yankees would not have done the trade unless they could still fall under the luxury tax threshold of $197 million for the 2018 season, which will allow their tax rate on salaries from 50 percent. Sources said that Stanton’s contract will only cost around $22 million for luxury tax purposes. This will allow the Yankees to possibly re-sign free agent CC Sabathia and possibly acquire another pitcher.
This is the second time the Yankees have acquired the MLB HR leader after a season in which they hit the most as a team. The only time the preceding home run leading team has traded for the home run champion, according to Elias, were the 1920 Yankees, who acquired Babe Ruth, in 1919 from the Boston Red Sox. Ruth hit a season-high 29 in 1919, while the Yankees as a team swatted 45.
Along with Judge, Stanton will become just the second pair of teammates to have hit 50 homers in the previous season. The only other teammates to do it were the 1962 Yankee teammates, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.
The last MVP to be traded also owns a Yankee connection, as it was Alex Rodriguez, whom general manager Brian Cashman acquired at a discounted price from the Texas Rangers in 2003.
Information from ESPN’s Andrew Marchand was used in this report.