LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — At 2 p.m. Monday inside the Dolphin Hotel, Giancarlo Stanton will be introduced to the baseball universe as a Yankee, which will only fuel the debate about whether bringing the reigning NL MVP to The Bronx is the right move.
The consensus among baseball executives and scouts checking into the Dolphin on Sunday afternoon and early evening for the Winter Meetings was that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman did a wonderful job getting Stanton from the Marlins in a deal that was subject to the right-handed slugger passing a physical. As of early Sunday night, Stanton hadn’t arrived at the meetings but was expected Monday morning.
“Brian did very well getting that guy for what he gave up,’’ an AL East executive said in the jammed lobby.
The Yankees shipped popular second baseman Starlin Castro and minor league prospects Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers to the Marlins for the 28-year-old power-hitting outfielder. The Marlins gave the Yankees’ $30 million to lower Stanton’s compensation to $265 million over the next 10 seasons. He can opt out following the 2020 season.
Cashman arrived at the hotel at midafternoon but didn’t hold a media session. New manager Aaron Boone flew to the meetings Sunday and he will be smothered with questions when he is scheduled to face the national media early Tuesday evening. Reporters might even swarm him Monday.
Stanton, a Marlin for all of his eight years in the big leagues who has hit .267 homers and driven in 672 runs, better get used to the scrutiny that begins Monday, because it won’t let up anytime soon.
Since Aaron Judge and Stanton are right fielders one could get a taste of left field, where Brett Gardner has been the regular since 2014 and is the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. Gardner, 34, can become a free agent following the season.
One theory is Judge and Stanton, who combined for 111 homers last season when Judge was the AL Rookie of the Year and finished second in the AL MVP race, would share right field and DH duties.
A drawback with that thinking deals with Stanton’s age, the money he makes and the fact Judge is the better outfielder who displayed Gold Glove quality skills in right this past season. Saturday an NL scout said Stanton, “Wasn’t a liability [as an outfielder] but he isn’t a difference-maker.’’
Stanton has played 942 games in right field; one in center and none in left. He has been the DH 13 times. Judge has played right field in 168 games in his brief career and never in center or left. He has been the DH in 11 games.
Where Stanton plays in the field and bats in the order will be decisions Cashman and Boone will have plenty of time to make, but that doesn’t lessen them.
As for Stanton he can expected to be asked why he didn’t waive his no-trade clause to play for either the Giants and Cardinals, who each had put together trade proposals before learning Stanton didn’t want to play in San Francisco or St. Louis. He’s also likely to be asked what went into his thinking when he told the Marlins he would go to the Dodgers, Yankees or world-champion Astros.