The year was 2017. Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton murdered 59 baseballs to earn him the National League MVP Award. This came over two years after he signed his massive 13-year, $325 million contract extension with the team. He was on the verge of being the face of the Marlins franchise for years to come.
And then, owner Jeffrey Lurie sold the team to a group that included New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter, who had serious aspirations to cut payroll and rebuild the team. Jeter’s first mission was to move on from Stanton, and actually finalized trades to the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, but the slugger activated his no-trade clause to prevent those moves.
With Stanton playing hardball, there was only one team Jeter could trade him to — the Bronx Bombers.
No matter how you feel about him now (I love him), nothing will ever beat the weekend of the Giancarlo Stanton trade. pic.twitter.com/nO3JJbyEHf
— Dan Rourke (@DanAlanRourke) November 1, 2019
Considering Stanton’s ridiculous contract, the Marlins couldn’t get a world-beating haul in return, so they accepted infielder Starlin Castro and prospects Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers for Stanton’s services.
The Yankees were one game away from reaching the World Series in 2017, and were the uncharacteristic “likable underdogs.” That all changed months later, as they opted to reconstruct their fully operational Death Star and bring in a baseball masher to team alongside Aaron Judge.
Stanton was impressive in his first season in pinstripes, as he batted .266 and posted a OPS of .825, alongside 38 home runs and 100 RBI. But the honeymoon ended quickly, as he pulled a disappearing act in the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox, while dealing with a plethora of injuries in 2019 that limited him to 18 games. In fact, Stanton was supposed to be on the injured list to start of the 2020 campaign, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit and effectively put the league on pause.
Maybe the Yanks could actually deal Giancarlo now… ?https://t.co/K8hkqV7NyM
— 12up (@12upSport) May 11, 2020
As for the “new” Marlins, Castro proved to be one of their better hitters in his two seasons in South Beach, as he tallied a .274 batting average and .733 OPS while hitting a total of 34 home runs and 140 RBI. This offseason, Castro signed a two-year deal with the World Series champion Washington Nationals.
Guzman spent his 2019 season in Double-A Jacksonville, where he accumulated a 3.50 ERA while striking out 127 batters in 138.2 innings. Meanwhile, Devers hit seven home runs and knocked in 14 base runners on a .322 batting average.
Very, very interesting: SS José Devers has been invited to Marlins major league spring training!
This “peanut” from the Giancarlo Stanton trade will be the youngest player in Marlins camp (just turned 20 last month). pic.twitter.com/xw7SCIsruP
— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) January 12, 2020
The debate as to who really won this trade will continue for years; it all depends on how Miami’s two prospects pan out, and if Stanton can overcome the injury bug and produce in the batter’s box. Until then, we play the waiting game.