Saturday October 20th, 2018 7:38PM

It's official: NL MVP Stanton now slugging for the Yankees

By The Associated Press
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Now slugging for the Bronx Bombers, Giancarlo Stanton.

The New York Yankees announced Monday they'd acquired Stanton from the Miami Marlins, getting the NL MVP and cash from Miami for Starlin Castro and two minor leaguers, right-hander Jorge Guzman and infielder Jose Devers.

Stanton was to be introduced later in the day at Major League Baseball's winter meetings.

The 28-year-old outfielder is still owed $295 million over the final decade of his record $325 million, 13-year contract.

The Marlins, with former Yankees star Derek Jeter as their new CEO, will 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 the 2020 season: $5 million each on July 1 and Oct. 1 in 2026, 2027 and 2028. Under a change in baseball's new labor contract, that money will be prorated for the luxury tax and Stanton will count as $22 million annually.

Stanton led the majors with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs last season. Once he puts on the pinstripes, Stanton will pair with Aaron Judge, the 6-foot-7 rookie who was second in the majors with 52 homers.

"I wouldn't say sad day," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "It's a win-win for both sides. ... I know Giancarlo made it clear midway through the 2017 season he didn't want to be part of a rebuild."

The Yankees topped baseball with 241 home runs last season. The prospect of the daunting duo together in the lineup — and putting on batting practice shows — raised thoughts of their previous powerful 1-2 punches, such as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, along with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

Shortly after the Yankees and Marlins agreed to the deal last weekend, Judge, the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year, sent a tweet to Stanton showing a clip from the movie "Step Brothers" with Will Ferrell saying, "Did we just become best friends?"

The Yankees came within one win of the World Series in October, losing the final two games of the AL Championship Series at Houston. The deal is sure to get a legion of fans that already dislike the Yanks railing against Jeter sending Stanton to his old team.

Stanton had a no-trade clause in his contract and last week turned down prospective deals to St. Louis and San Francisco. There was speculation he wanted to play close to home with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but clearly the Yankees were to his liking.

The Yankees haven't had a losing record since 1992. The Marlins haven't had a winning season since Stanton made his big league debut for them in 2010.

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 Seattle last week for three prospects.

Castro is due $10 million in 2018 and $11 million in 2019, plus a $16 million club option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout.

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, under new manager Aaron Boone, in better position for next offseason's free agent class, which includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and possibly Clayton Kershaw.

Under baseball's previous labor contract, the money the Marlins pay the Yankees would be included "in the contract year in which the cash consideration is paid." However, under the new deal Article XXIII (C) (2) (ii) was changed to have it count "on a pro-rata basis over the remaining guaranteed years of the assigned contract."

The 27-year-old Castro was an All-Star last season, hitting .300 with 16 homers and 63 RBIs. There's speculation the Marlins will try to trade him to the New York Mets.

The 21-year-old Guzman was 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA in Class A Staten Island. The 18-year-old Devers hit .245 in the Dominican Summer League and the rookie Gulf Coast League.


AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.


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