MIAMI — 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 slugger 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.
Infielder Starlin Castro would go to Miami as part of the deal, a second person familiar with the negotiations said.
Stanton has a no-trade clause in his record $325 million, 13-year contract, and he must still approve the deal. The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants said Friday he had vetoed trades 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 Gehrig-Ruth or Mantle-Maris.
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.
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.
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, 10-year contract after the 2007 season that ran through age 42; Stanton’s deal runs through age 38.
The Yankees could obtain the NL home run champion for the second off-season in a row. Chris Carter hit 41 homers for Milwaukee in 2016 but was released by the Yankees in July after hitting .201 with eight homers in 208 plate appearances.
Stanton is owed $295 million over the final decade of his 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 per cent 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 base, or he 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.
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 promised to reduce it below next year’s $197 million threshold, which would reset the team’s base tax rate from 50 per cent to 20 per cent in 2019. That would put the Yankees in better position for next off-season’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. Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 million) comes off the payroll after this season, and five high-priced Yankees have become free agents: CC Sabathia ($20 million), Matt Holliday ($13 million), Michael Pineda ($7.4 million), Todd Frazier ($4,918,033) and Jaime Garcia ($4,961,721).
New York also figures to try to trade third baseman Chase Headley ($13 million), expendable because of prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who counts as $21,857,143, also appears to be superfluous in an outfield that includes Stanton, Judge, Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner. Ellsbury is owed $21,142, 857 in each of the next three years as part of a deal that includes a $21 million team option for 2021 with a $1 million buyout.
But after missing out on Japanese right-hander Shohei Ohtani, the Yankees are expected to seek starting pitching to bolster a rotation currently projected to include Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery and Luis Cessa.
Stanton has the right to opt out of his contract and become a free agent after receiving $77 million over next three seasons.
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 per cent top rate on income and New York City a 3.876 per cent top rate. But he might make up the difference in new endorsements.