JUPITER, Fla. — Not everyone was thrilled with the Giancarlo Stanton trade.
“I felt a little bad right away,” said Starlin Castro, who was traded by the Yankees along with two prospects for the reigning National League MVP on Dec. 11. “I played in New York for two years. I felt pretty good up there. Good team. Good people. Good guys. Good teammates. It was kind of tough for me.”
Nearly three months later, Starlin the Marlin is marooned in Miami — a 27-year-old in his ninth big-league season who already went through rebuilding with the Cubs. He missed out on their historic World Series title in 2016 because he had been traded to the Yankees. Then the Yankees sent him to the Marlins after coming within one victory of reaching the World Series in 2017.
Castro didn’t want to leave New York, and the Marlins and Derek Jeter didn’t really want him. They took Castro’s contract to help offset some of the massive money owed to Stanton.
“You have to separate it — this is a business,” Castro said on Saturday before the Marlins played the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. “That’s one thing that we can’t control. It happened and I’m here now. We’ve got a lot of talent, a lot of young guys.”
After the trade, once it became clear that Jeter’s plan was to tear down the Marlins and start over — Stanton, Dee Gordon, Marcel Ozuna and Christian Yelich were traded away for prospects — reports quickly surfaced that Castro wanted out of Miami. He denies that.
“I never told nobody this. Nothing happened from my mouth,” Castro said about requesting to be redirected out of Miami (although he didn’t deny that his agent might have). “I’m good now. I don’t control this. I didn’t want to be traded by [the Yankees], but this is my house. The only thing I can control is be on the field every day and play hard.”
Jeter hasn’t yet been able to find a taker for Castro and the guaranteed $23.6 million he is owed over the next two seasons. At $10.85 million for 2018, Castro is the second-highest- paid Marlin after injured former Yankee Martin Prado ($13.5 million).
So Castro is slated to start the season as Miami’s second baseman and No. 3 hitter. The Marlins are slated to battle the Braves and Phillies at the bottom of the NL East. And Stanton, Aaron Judge and the Yankees are set to stage their own version of Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium.
“That’s kind of a tough situation,” Castro said. “You come in here after being one game from the World Series. Now I am on a team that is growing up.”