The New York Yankees today announced that they have acquired outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and cash considerations from the Miami Marlins in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro, minor league right-handed pitcher Jorge Guzman and minor league infielder Jose Devers.
A press conference introducing Stanton will take place today at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Baseball Winter Meetings Press Conference Room (Northern Hemisphere A/B). Winter Meetings credentials issued by Major League Baseball are required for attendance.
Stanton, 28, is the reigning 2017 National League Most Valuable Player, having led the Majors in home runs (59), runs batted in (132) and slugging percentage (.631), while batting .281 (168-for-597) with 123 runs scored, 32 doubles, 85 walks and a .376 on-base percentage in 159 games. His 1.007 OPS trailed only Mike Trout (1.071), Aaron Judge (1.049) and Joey Votto (1.032) among all Major League qualifiers. Stanton also collected his second career NL Hank Aaron Award as his league’s most outstanding offensive performer (also 2014) in addition to earning his second Silver Slugger Award (also 2014) and making his fourth All-Star team (also 2012, ’14-15).
Since the start of his career in 2010, Stanton’s average of 1HR per 13.40 at-bats is the best in the Majors among those with at least 1,000 plate appearances over the span.
This trade marks the second time in Major League history that a reigning MVP has been acquired via trade prior to the start of the following season. On February 16, 2004, the Yankees acquired reigning AL MVP Alex Rodriguez from Texas in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (Joaquin Arias). The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the only other MVP to change teams in the season following his award was Barry Bonds, who won the NL MVP with Pittsburgh in 1992 and signed with San Francisco as a free agent prior to the 1993 season.
The Yankees led the Majors with 241 home runs in 2017, and Elias confirms that the 2018 Yankees will be the second team in MLB history to acquire MLB’s home run champion after leading the Majors in team homers the prior year, joining the 1920 Yankees, who led the Majors in team home runs the prior season (45HR in 1919) and acquired Babe Ruth (29HR in 1919) in the offseason. Players currently on the Yankees’ 40-man roster (including Stanton) totaled 244 homers last season, including 204 by players under the age of 30.
With Stanton joining 2017 AL Rookie of the Year and 2017 AL MVP runner-up Aaron Judge (52HR in 2017), Elias notes that they become the second pair of teammates to have each hit at least 50 home runs in the previous season, joining the 1962 World Champion Yankees, which featured Roger Maris (61HR in 1961) and Mickey Mantle (54HR in 1961). Elias notes that Stanton and Judge’s 111 combined homers are the second-highest total hit by a pair of teammates in the prior season (trailing only Maris and Mantle’s 115 combined homers hit in 1961). Elias additionally confirms that it will be the first time a team opens a season with the Majors’ top two home run hitters from the prior year since the 1966 Giants had Willie Mays (52HR in 1965) and Willie McCovey (39HR in 1965), and that it is the fifth time that the Yankees will open a season with the top two home run hitters (1962 Yankees with Maris & Mantle; 1932 Yankees with Babe Ruth-46HR & Lou Gehrig-46HR hit in 1931; 1928 Yankees with Ruth-60HR & Gehrig-47HR hit in 1927; and 1922 Yankees with Ruth-59HR & Bob Meusel-24HR hit in 1921).
Prior to the 2018 Yankees, the last team according to Elias to open a season with two players to finish first or second in MVP voting the previous year was the 2001 San Francisco Giants (2000 NL MVP Barry Bonds and runner-up Jeff Kent). The last time the Yankees had such a pair of players was in 1963 with 1962 AL MVP Mickey Mantle and runner-up Bobby Richardson.
Elias research also notes that the Yankees will be the eighth team in MLB history to open the season with an MVP and a Rookie of the Year from the prior season, and the first since the 1989 Oakland Athletics had 1988 AL MVP Jose Canseco and AL ROY Walt Weiss. It marks the fourth time the Yankees will begin a season in such a fashion (1963 Yankees with 1962 AL MVP Mickey Mantle and 1962 AL ROY Tom Tresh; 1958 Yankees with 1957 AL MVP Mickey Mantle and 1957 AL ROY Tony Kubek; and 1952 Yankees with 1951 AL MVP Yogi Berra and 1951 AL ROY Gil McDougald).
During the 2017 season, Stanton hit 86 batted balls with an exit velocity of at least 110 mph according to MLB Statcast, marking the most by a player in a single season in the three years Statcast has tracked that data. His single on October 1, 2017, vs. Atlanta left his bat at 122.2 mph, marking the highest exit velocity on a base hit in the Majors over the past three seasons. Of his 59 home runs last season, a Major League-high 39 traveled a projected distance of at least 400 feet.
Stanton’s 59 home runs were the highest total in the Majors since 2001, when San Francisco’s Barry Bonds hit 73 and the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa hit 64. Stanton became the ninth player in MLB history to record at least 10 multi-homer games in one season, one shy of the all-time record of 11 (credit: Elias). He was named NL “Player of the Month” after tying MLB’s August record with 18 home runs. Stanton is the fifth player to be acquired by the Yankees in the year immediately after leading or tying for a league lead in homers, joining Babe Ruth (acquired in 1920), Johnny Mize (1949), Alex Rodriguez (2004) and Chris Carter (2017).
Additionally, Stanton’s 267 career home runs mark the eighth-highest total all-time for a player before his 28th birthday, trailing only Alex Rodriguez (322), Jimmie Foxx (302), Eddie Mathews (299), Ken Griffey, Jr. (294), Albert Pujols (282), Mickey Mantle (280) and Mel Ott (275). He is also one of just 11 players in Major League history to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first eight seasons, joining Joe DiMaggio, Bob Johnson, Ralph Kiner, Eddie Mathews, Eddie Murray, Albert Pujols, Frank Robinson, Darryl Strawberry, Mark Teixeira and Ted Williams.
In 986 games across eight seasons with the Marlins (2010-17), the Panorama City, Calif., native hit .268 (960-for-3,577) with 576 runs scored, 202 doubles, 10 triples, 267 home runs, 672 runs batted in and 487 walks. His 267 home runs are fourth-most in the Majors since 2010 (Jose Bautista-272; Edwin Encarnación-269; Nelson Cruz-268) and the eighth-highest total all-time through a player’s first eight seasons (Ralph Kiner-329; Albert Pujols-319; Eddie Mathews-299; Ryan Howard-286; Adam Dunn-278; Mark Teixeira-275; Ernie Banks-269).
Stanton was originally selected by the then-Florida Marlins in the second round (76th overall) of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Castro, 27, batted .300 (133-for-443) with 66 runs, 18 doubles, 1 triple, 16 home runs, 63 runs batted in, 23 walks and a .338 on-base percentage in 112 games with the Yankees in 2017. He was also named to his first American League All-Star Team, marking his fourth All-Star selection overall (also 2011-12, ’14 with Chicago-NL). Originally acquired by the Yankees on December 8, 2015, from the Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitcher Adam Warren and a player to be named later (infielder Brendan Ryan), Castro played two seasons with the club (2016-2017), posting a .283 (289-for-1,020) batting average with 129 runs, 47 doubles, 2 triples, 37 home runs, 133 runs batted in and 47 walks in 263 games.
Guzman, 21, went 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA (66.2IP, 51H, 21R/17ER, 18BB, 88K, 4HR) in 13 games (all starts) with short-season Single-A Staten Island in 2017. The right-hander was originally acquired by the Yankees from Houston along with right-handed pitcher Albert Abreu in exchange for catcher Brian McCann on November 17, 2016. Over three minor league seasons (2015-17), Guzman has posted an 11-11 record with a 3.67 ERA (162.0IP, 143H, 90R/66ER, 65BB, 171K, 7HR) in 43 appearances (33 starts).
Devers, 18, was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2016. A native of Samana, Dominican Republic, the left-handed hitting shortstop made his professional debut in 2017, batting .245 (45-for-184) with 21 runs, 9 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run, 16 runs batted in, 18 walks and 16 stolen bases in 53 combined games between the DSL Yankees and the GCL Yankees East.