MIAMI (AP) — After helping the New York Yankees to five World Series titles, Derek Jeter might help them win another.
The Yankees and Jeter’s Miami Marlins have agreed to a trade that would send NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton to New York, pending a physical, a person familiar with the negotiations said Saturday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams hadn’t announced the agreement.
Stanton has a no-trade clause in his record $325 million, 13-year contract and must approve the deal.
Second baseman Starlin Castro would go to Miami as part of the trade, a second person familiar with the negotiations said. A third person said the Marlins would also receive prospects Jorge Guzman, a right-hander, and Jose Devers, an infielder.
The third person said the Marlins would agree to send $30 million to the Yankees if Stanton doesn’t exercise his right to opt out of his contract and become a free agent after 2020.
The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants said Friday that Stanton had vetoed deals to them, but he has appeared willing to approve going to New York. As for the physical, injuries curtailed Stanton’s season four of the past six years, but he played 159 games in 2017.
If the Yankees complete the trade with a team run by their former captain, the new Marlins CEO, the Bronx Bombers would acquire a slugger who hit a major league-high 59 home runs last season and pair him with Aaron Judge, who led the AL with 52 in his rookie season. That would give them a one-two punch to rival Ruth-Gehrig or Mantle-Maris, making for must-see batting practice.
Stanton and Judge hit all nine home runs this year that left the bat at 117 mph or faster, according to MLB Statcast. Stanton also led the majors with 132 RBIs last season.
The acquisition of the 28-year-old Stanton would be reminiscent of the Yankees’ trade for Alex Rodriguez after his MVP season with Texas in 2003. Rodriguez signed a $275 million, 10-year contract after the 2007 season that ran through age 42; Stanton’s deal runs through age 38.
An eight-year veteran with 267 home runs, Stanton has never played on a winning team, and might now go to a perennial title contender. The Yankees reached Game 7 of the AL Championship Series this season in the first full year of a youth movement.
New Yankees manager Aaron Boone, along with the front office, would have to sort where Stanton will play. He has played his whole big league career in right field, as has Judge. The Yankees also have the option of using one of them as a designated hitter whenever they want.
Yankees prospects would likely be involved in any deal. Gary Denbo, the Marlins new vice president of scouting and player development, spent the past eight years with New York and oversaw a farm system that ranks among the best in baseball.
Stanton is owed $295 million over the final decade of his record $325 million, 13-year contract. The All-Star right fielder led the majors in homers and RBIs, but his salary will rise to $25 million in 2018, which made him too pricey for the revenue-starved Marlins to keep.
Jeter is expected to reduce payroll by at least 20 percent to $90 million or less. The Marlins shed $38 million of salary through 2020 by trading two-time All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday for three prospects.
Castro, who hit .300 with 16 home runs this year, could replace Gordon at second baseman — or might also be dealt by Miami because of his contract. He’s due $10 million in 2018 and $11 million in 2019, with a club option of $16 million in the final year of his contract in 2020.
Guzman went 5-3 this year with a 2.30 ERA for Single-A Staten Island. Devers batted .245 in 53 games for two teams in the low minors.
More Marlins deals are possible at the winter meetings beginning Sunday in Orlando, Florida, with Castro and outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna possibly on the trading block.
The Yankees’ payroll for purposes of baseball’s luxury tax was about $209 million this year, and owner Hal Steinbrenner has vowed to reduce it below next year’s $197 million threshold, which would reset the team’s base tax rate from 50 percent to 20 percent in 2019. That would put the Yankees in better position for next offseason’s free agent class, which includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and possibly Clayton Kershaw.
Stanton counts as $25.05 million for purposes of the luxury tax, but trading Castro cuts New York’s tax payroll by $8,801,786. Rodriguez ($27.5 million) comes off the payroll after this season, and five high-priced Yankees have become free agents.
Stanton would take a cut in take-home pay for his games in the Bronx. While Florida has no state income tax, New York State has an 8.82 percent top rate on income and New York City a 3.876 percent top rate. But he might make up the difference in new endorsements.
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