The majority of the offseason has been uneventful. Then, in the span of 24 hours, the Angels won the Ohtani sweepstakes and the Marlins found a way to dump Giancarlo Stanton‘s massive contract. In fact, the Marlins have now dumped the likes of Dee Gordon and Stanton in the span of 72 hours. This is one of those deals that now only shifts the balance of power in the sport, but also usually breaks the damn for other moves.
Why the Marlins Make this move
Starlin Castro will be paid a combined 23.5 million over the next two seasons assuming the Marlins buy him out following the 2019 season. His inclusion in the deal is more about offsetting costs in the short-term. The beauty is that following 2019, the Marlins will be on the hook for three million of Stanton and will be shed of a combined 36 million between Stanton, Gordon, and Castro. Castro will provide decent performance in the meantime and will keep the Marlins from completely bottoming out, but this deal was about cutting 265 million in future payroll.
They also acquire Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers in the deal. Devers is the cousin of Rafael Devers of the Red Sox. If he is as good as his cousin this will be a huge deal. There is nothing in his profile to date that will make anyone believe he will be that good, but he is still very young and has a few years to develop before he will have to prove anything. Guzman is a young fireballer who could develop into a middle of the rotation starter down the road.
The package is underwhelming considering Stanton’s status as the defending NL MVP, but they had better packages out there from both the Cardinals and the Giants. Stanton blocked those deals and reportedly gave the Marlins a list of four teams he would accept trades from. They were coincidentally the final four teams in the playoffs. None of those teams needed a corner outfielder, so they had to take what they could get if they wanted to rid themselves of his contract. It’s more about the disappointment of being in the situation of needing to shed that contract in the first place.
Why the Yankees make this deal
Are you kidding, how many times do you see a reigning MVP and legitimate 50+ home run threat available on the open market? The Yankees are one of the few teams able to absorb his contract without really sidetracking their long-term plans. Seeing him and Aaron Judge in the same lineup will be similar to when the White Sox paired Frank Thomas and Albert Belle together in the late 1990s. The idea is always that both players will feed off each other. It rarely ever works out that way.
Baseball-reference.com keeps track of players and their 162 game average. Stanton averages .268/44 HR/95/110/6 in his career. Of course, his big issue is that he rarely ever plays 150 or more games in a season. Last season was only the second time in his career he was able to do that. When healthy, he is virtually a lock to hit 40 or more home runs. Couple that with Judge and Gary Sanchez and the Yankees lineup looks like the best lineup in the American League on paper.
What this deal means for you
Stanton is the reigning MVP, so there is nowhere for him to go in terms of fantasy value. However, this is a good deal for him long-term because new Yankee Stadium is a better hitter’s park and the Yankees will always surround him with plenty of talent. So, while the odds of him repeating 2017 may not be good, the prognosis points up for him long-term.