Why Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees is the A-Rod trade all over again

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor
Big League Stew
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/8634/" data-ylk="slk:Giancarlo Stanton">Giancarlo Stanton</a> (left) and <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/252085/" data-ylk="slk:Alex Rodriguez">Alex Rodriguez</a> (right) have a lot in common. That will soon include being reigning MVPs traded to the Yankees. (AP)
Giancarlo Stanton (left) and Alex Rodriguez (right) have a lot in common. That will soon include being reigning MVPs traded to the Yankees. (AP)

The New York Yankees have agreed to acquire National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, according to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown. The trade only needs the official approval of Stanton and the passing of his physical, both of which are expected to come soon. In putting this trade together, it seems a lesson has been learned once again: When all else fails, you can count on the Yankees to swing a favorable deal for a reigning MVP with a massive contract when his franchise is desperate enough to deal at any cost.

Basically, it’s the Alex Rodriguez trade all over again. Younger baseball fans might not remember the circumstances, but they were essentially the same 14 years ago when the Texas Rangers traded A-Rod, then the reigning American League MVP, to the Yankees. The Rangers were desperate, just as Derek Jeter’s Marlins are now, to rid themselves of as much of A-Rod’s remaining $179 million as possible.

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The result was a blockbuster February trade that saw the Yankees part with Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias to acquire Rodriguez. At the time, A-Rod was only the second reigning MVP to be traded. The first was Eddie Collins, whose contract was sold from the Philadelphia Athletics to the Chicago White Sox for $50,000 in 1914. The third? Giancarlo Stanton.

That gives you some perspective of the truly rare territory we’ve reached with this trade, and how crazy it is the Yankees are once again benefiting from another team’s desperation.

Of course, conspiracy theorists will point to Jeter’s involvement and suggest this was some grand plan to gift wrap the Yankees a megastar. It gives people something to chew on, but the truth is Jeter backed himself and the Marlins into a corner. He laid out his cards. Then Stanton played his superior hand, which all but forced this move to the Yankees.

From the Yankees perspective, the only major difference between this deal and acquiring A-Rod in 2004 is that the Yankees actually needed A-Rod. Ironically, the driving force was a season-ending injury suffered by current Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who blew out his knee playing pickup basketball during the offseason.

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/9877/" data-ylk="slk:Aaron Judge">Aaron Judge</a>, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez will strike fear into opposing pitchers. (Getty Images)
Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez will strike fear into opposing pitchers. (Getty Images)

The Yankees current lineup was already a relentless and destructive force without Stanton. They would have been just fine without him. Now that he’s joining a lineup that already includes Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, it’s almost unfair.

The only question now is how much will acquiring Stanton impact the Yankees ability to pursue a major free agent next winter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the Yankees will eat $265 million of the $295 million owed to Stanton. That’s significant because the Yankees would like to remain under the luxury tax limit that’s set for $197 million in 2018. But they would almost certainly have to cross that threshold next winter to sign a Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

Now that they have Stanton for the long haul, perhaps they’ll be less concerned about adding yet another hitter. But knowing the Yankees, just about anything is possible. The Stanton deal proves that again.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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