LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The deal that shook the baseball world, and continues to shake it, is expected to become official Monday afternoon.
Indications are the Yankees will introduce Giancarlo Stanton, acquired from the Marlins over the weekend, at the Dolphin Resort here, providing quite a kick-start to the annual winter meetings.
Stanton spent the weekend in New York, with part of that time spent taking his physical. When the Yankees are satisfied with the results — Stanton has had his share of injuries over the years — the deal will be announced officially.
The Yankees, of course, stunned just about everyone by swooping in and acquiring the reigning National League MVP — who led the major leagues with 59 homers last season — in exchange for All-Star second baseman Starlin Castro and minor-league prospects Jorge Guzman, a highly regarded righthander, and shortstop Jose Devers.
Most significant from the perspective of the Marlins, who under Derek Jeter’s new ownership group are attempting to dump salary, the Yankees will pay $265 million of the $295 million owed the 28-year-old Stanton over the next 10 years.
Stanton has an opt-out clause in the contract that he can exercise after the 2020 season. He also has a full no-trade clause, which he exercised in vetoing deals to the Giants and Cardinals before giving the OK to joining the Yankees.
The trade was the Yankees’ emphatic retort to the recent disappointment of their early elimination in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. Ohtani, the star pitcher-outfielder from Japan, eventually chose the Angels in a process that in many ways mirrored the recruitment of elite football and basketball players by colleges. To continue with the metaphor, the Yankees never got to the point of even making an in-home visit with the 23-year-old.
The uncertainty surrounding Stanton and Ohtani contributed to a snail’s pace to the offseason in terms of transactions. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the toppling of those two major dominoes should hasten activity starting at these meetings, which begin Monday.
“I’ve talked to a couple of people who were involved in the Stanton discussions who I think feel as if they’ve been somewhat liberated to talk about other things, and there were lots of teams that were involved with Ohtani,” Alderson said late Sunday afternoon. “The amount of time teams took to put together presentations for Ohtani, that alone probably consumed four or five days per team. I think some things have been cleared away and I do think activity will pick up.’’