By: Noah Wright
Last offseason was a pretty eventful one for The Marlins. They got a new CEO by the name of Derek Jeter, and they started off their tanking rebuild. All players were up for sale. Dee Gordon was traded in early-ish December. Then the next player to go was 2017 NL MVP outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. And while his contract was going to be a burden on any team, The Marlins could eat a bit of cash, and The Yankees could throw in a bit of a pricey contract, you think that they’d at least get back a decent prospect package, right? Well you’d be wrong. The Marlins received in return Starlin Castro, an 18 year old in rookie ball at the time (Jose Devers), and Jorge Guzman, a right handed 21 year old in single-A. None of the 2 prospects were on MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list. So this got me thinking, did Derek Jeter give The Yankees a bit of a discount on Giancarlo Stanton? Well let’s look at if he did, or didn’t in this installment of Baseball Theory.
Why There Was A Discount:
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you should know who Derek Jeter is, but here’s a bit of background before he became The Marlins new CEO. Derek Jeter was born on June 26th, 1974 in New Jersey. Jeter was drafted by The NY Yankees back in the 1992 MLB. After putting together a Rookie Of The Year season in 1996, Derek Jeter would go on to put on a legendary career that spanned from ‘96 to 2014. Through his 20 year MLB career with The Yankees, Jeter played in 14 All-Star games, won 5 WS Rings, 5 Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers, and is #6 on the all-time MLB hits list. Needless to say, Derek Jeter is familiar to The Yankees. In 2017, Derek Jeter was named the new Marlins CEO. And when the off season started, it was clear they were going on a fire sale rebuild. After Dee Gordon was sold off, Giancarlo Stanton was next to go, and as I stated earlier, for not much except for salary relief. The Yankees were in a much different situation than The Marlins. They were a playoff bound team with payroll to spend, and plenty of prospects to acquire talent with. Their farm system was deep with names, including Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Chance Adams, Estevan Floral, Justus Sheffield, Albert Abreu, and Domingo Acevedo. Even with the contract the size of Stanton’s, The Marlins could have gotten something better back than what they did. Maybe threw in a bit of cash from year to year, something that even with a smaller payroll, The Marlins could have been able to do to receive a better prospect package. And that gets to where I think Jeter gave The Marlins a bit of a discount. Instead of throwing in a bit more cash, and taking Castro’s or Chase Headley’s contract as well to receive someone like Abreu, or Jonathan Loaisiga, Jeter, a New Jersian born, and Yankee player from 1992 to 2014, decided to do The Yankees a bit of a favor.
Why there wasn’t a discount:
The Marlins were a bit desperate to get rid of Giancarlo Stanton’s contract. After-all it was weighing down their payroll, and getting rid of it could free up a lot of payroll space. Plus when they did try to get back a decent return, Stanton enacted his no trade clause, and denied a trade from both The St. Louis Cardinals, and SF Giants. Stanton also stated that his choice of teams were limited, which was The LA Dodgers, Houston Astros, NY Yankees, and Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers were willing to give up the prospects for Stanton, but wanted to keep under the luxury tax line, so The Marlins would likely have to eat much more of the contract. The Yankees were one of the only teams that were willing to take on the contract, and so with one of the few teams that he was willing to go to, Brian Cashman took advantage of the opportunity, and acquired Giancarlo Stanton for nothing but basically taking on salary for an MVP candidate. Plus The GM has to have some input on this, so it’s not just Jeter doing this all on his own.
It’s pretty convincing either way, but I think there was a bit of easy going on The Yankees. To counter argue the GM point, Jeter has mainly been calling the shots for Miami. To add on, have you even heard of The Marlins GM? The Marlins don’t even have the GM or president of Baseball Operations listed on their website, and it took me 10 minutes of searching who the GM was. However, nothing can convince me otherwise that Jeter being a New York Yankee fan or player for all or most of his life had no influence on his decision on the return for Giancarlo Stanton. While I don’t think there was a complete discount (for example: Jeter may have asked for J.P. Crawford, and Scott Kingery from The Phillies for Stanton+cash, then not asking anything about any top prospect from The Yankees), but I do feel that he was not as hard on The Yankees than he would be toward other teams.