JASON ZILLO: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Jason Zillo, the New York Yankees vice president of communications.
Earlier today, the Yankees finalized a trade with the Florida Marlins, Miami Marlins, excuse me. Bringing Giancarlo Stanton, 2017 National League MVP and cash considerations to the Yankees in exchange
JASON ZILLO: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Jason Zillo, the New York Yankees vice president of communications.
Earlier today, the Yankees finalized a trade with the Florida Marlins, Miami Marlins, excuse me. Bringing Giancarlo Stanton, 2017 National League MVP and cash considerations to the Yankees in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro and minor leaguers Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers.
We are here to obviously introduce and welcome Giancarlo to the Yankees, the newest member of the New York Yankees, and allow our fans for the first time to see Giancarlo don the pinstripes.
As we begin, I'd like to take a moment to thank the commissioner's office, who offered up this space and a window of time to allow us to perform this press conference. This is a big room, and it's fitting for this type of news-making announcement. The Winter Meetings attract a huge swath of our industry. We welcome you here. We also welcome the fine journalists that cover the sport.
I said something last week when we introduced Aaron Boone as the 33rd manager in the history of the Yankees franchise that I think bears repeating. These are the type of announcements that our fans rally behind and they get excited for, and it causes them to look towards the 2018 schedule. It's coming. I mentioned again last week that pitchers and catchers report to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on February 13th. We're counting down. We're now at 64 days.
I'd like to introduce the members on the dais. To my left, Jean Afterman, Yankees executive vice president and assistant general manager; beside me to my left is Hal Steinbrenner, the managing general partner of the New York Yankees; to my immediate right, newly brought on board Aaron Boone, Yankees manager; the man of the hour, Giancarlo Stanton. Giancarlo, thank you for coming today. We appreciate it. And, of course, Brian Cashman, the Yankees senior vice president and general manager.
With the introductions in place, I'd like to call Brian up to the podium now, please.
BRIAN CASHMAN: Thanks, Jason.
These are exciting times. Every day our baseball operations department under the guidance of the Steinbrenner family are trying to find ways to improve the club. Sometimes they're in big ways. Sometimes they're in small ways.
Today's a day of welcoming a new addition to our band of merry men. I think we have a lot of exciting, talented players that you saw play out and compete on a daily basis last year.
But we have higher hopes, and that's part of our job description is to find pieces that can help us take further steps, pieces that can play a role in the future efforts to try to find a way to be that last team standing.
Despite what we're here today to talk about, which is welcoming Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees as another member of that band of merry men, the job doesn't finish. We've got to keep finding ways to improve. There's other aspects of the roster that we want to attack and fortify to make sure that we can do everything in our power -- within reason, obviously -- to put a team that Aaron Boone and his coaching staff can go forward with.
So with that, I'd like to turn this over to Aaron Boone.
AARON BOONE: Thank you, Brian.
Thank you again to the Steinbrenner family for allowing such a special day to happen for this franchise. Today is a celebration for the New York Yankees, for our fan base, and a celebration of one of the great players in our sport in Giancarlo Stanton.
I can't tell you how excited we are that this has all transpired, and now it's going to be the realization of him being a part of our outstanding young team, young nucleus.
As much as we are excited to have the National League MVP join our lineup and all that goes with that and all the expectations we have for him to come in and play so well at Yankee Stadium, we have a group of young men that we're so excited about what they bring from a character standpoint in that room. We feel like we really have a special culture brewing, and we feel like adding Giancarlo Stanton -- yes, the player, but just as much the person to that room, he's only going to make it even stronger.
I can't wait to continue to get to know him better and build our relationship, and I just want to celebrate him today and introduce him as the newest New York Yankee, Giancarlo Stanton.
JASON ZILLO: Ladies and gentlemen, Giancarlo Stanton.
GIANCARLO STANTON: How's it going, everybody? Just want to say I'm glad to be here and part of the New York Yankees. It's going to be a great new chapter in my life and my career. So I want to thank everybody involved to be able to get this done -- Jean, Mr. Steinbrenner, Aaron, and Mr. Cashman.
This has been quite the experience, quite the road to get here. When I signed up in Miami, I wanted things to work out, and I had a good vision there, but sometimes things just spiral out of place and you have to find a new home.
So I'm very excited to be here and to be a part of the Yankees, and I'm just looking forward to stepping up and being with this winning environment and winning culture. So I'm happy to be here.
Q. Giancarlo, can you just give some insight into why you included the Yankees on your list of teams that were acceptable destinations and why you ultimately gave the go ahead for this deal?
GIANCARLO STANTON: Just watching them from afar, seeing their young, dynamic group, the way they flow together on the field, how they never give up, never quit, the atmosphere, the storied franchise. There's not much you can say about why you wouldn't want to be there. They're for sure on the list of where I want to be.
Q. Giancarlo, what's your relationship like with Aaron Judge? You spent some time with him during the Home Run Derby, All-Star Game.
GIANCARLO STANTON: Yeah, we met at the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby. A lot of craziness going on during that time. We just said hello, and we respect each other's game and had fun in the derby and the game.
I've spoken to him there since, a couple days ago, and we're excited. We're excited to get better together and use our talents together because we're very similar. And we're going to learn from each other and make each other better.
Q. Giancarlo, did Derek ever speak with you and try to encourage you to stay or encourage you to leave? And why did you say no to San Francisco and St. Louis?
GIANCARLO STANTON: We had a meeting, yes. We spoke about the direction of the team. I wanted us to go forward and have -- and advance with the pitching staff. I thought our lineup was legit and we needed help with our pitchers, and we needed to add rather than subtract. The way they wanted to go was to subtract, so I let that be known that I didn't want to be part of another rebuild, another losing season, and that's almost a guaranteed losing season taking away what I thought was a great lineup. So, yes, I didn't want to be a part of the rebuild.
Now, I gave my list of teams prior to, and they went to San Francisco and Cardinals and struck deals with them. So I was open to listen to them, but those were not my teams. Those are great people. They were great meetings and a great organization and culture there, but that just wasn't the fit for me.
Q. When you left Miami, you thanked the organization. You also said you would try to be professional in an unprofessional circus at times. Can you elaborate on the unprofessional circus?
GIANCARLO STANTON: You guys are the media. You've seen what's gone on down there. What I mainly meant is just no structure, no stamp of this is how things are going to be. It's a different direction every Spring Training. You've got to learn something new. Every spring a different manager, every spring, every middle of the season. So that's mainly what I meant.
Q. Giancarlo, just in terms of where you're going to play, how do you envision where you'll play in respect to Aaron's also a right fielder?
GIANCARLO STANTON: That doesn't matter where I'm going to play. I'm willing to play wherever I need that can fit the team, whether that's rotating around right field with Aaron, DH. We haven't spoken about that specifically, but we're willing to find whatever works to make us the best.
Q. How do you feel like you'll acquiesce yourself to the pressure of playing in New York? You've never played in a postseason before. What's it going to be like to join a team that was on the cusp of being in the World Series last year?
GIANCARLO STANTON: That's what I've always dreamed of. You always want to be in competitive games that mean something, and your performance means something to the team and the city. It's going to be a fun challenge, and I'm looking forward to it.
Q. The Yankees have, obviously, a big tradition of bringing in the sluggers from elsewhere -- Reggie Jackson, Winfield, and Giambi, and A-Rod. How aware are you of that history, and how important is it to you to be part of that, doing some of the things that they did?
GIANCARLO STANTON: Not directly aware besides A-Rod, but those are names that I obviously know. It's going to be fun, like I said. It's a good company of names to be a part of. But this is a separate group. This is a new young team, and I just want to mesh with them.
Q. The Cardinals pursued you deeply and had the meeting -- you had the meeting with a Cardinal representative. Did they come close to swaying you at all and maybe changing your decision to come to St. Louis?
GIANCARLO STANTON: I've always watched them from afar as well. We shared the same Spring Training. So I've noticed how they go about their business, how it's a winning first culture, the fans, everything. It's a great organization. And we did have a good meeting. But I wanted to see my options to the teams that I originally chose.
JASON ZILLO: I'd also like to acknowledge Joel Wolfe, Giancarlo's longtime representative. Thank you for being here, Joel.
Q. You're a west coast guy. You've played in Miami your whole career. What was it about New York that was appealing to you that made you put the Yankees on the list of teams you would accept a trade to?
GIANCARLO STANTON: The team, the dynamic of they strike from everywhere, and they're well balanced, and they're hungry. The city's been waiting for another World Series and a playoff run, and they got close enough this year. But hopefully, with my addition, we're going to advance and be better, a better team. We have to go out and perform, but I want to make this team better.
Q. You obviously were open to taking those meetings with both the Giants and the Cardinals. I wondered why you did that then if they weren't on your list, what you wanted to hear from them that might have swayed you? And ultimately, what didn't you hear from those two teams to not come up with an agreement with either?
GIANCARLO STANTON: I really just wanted to learn what another organization is like. All I've experienced is the Marlins and basically one way of going about things. So I wanted to see how other organizations went about their business and how the city and everything would appeal to me if that was a way that I wanted to go.
Q. Giancarlo, I know leaving Miami and something undone is probably somewhat bittersweet for you, or at least was early on in the process. What would you say to the fans and the organization you're leaving behind as well, what would you say to them?
GIANCARLO STANTON: I would say to hang in there. They're hurting. They're going to go through some more tough years, but I would advise them not to give up. Just keep hope, maybe watch from afar if you're going to watch. But those guys are -- they've battled too. The guys that are out there, they're good kids. They need some support too.
Q. Just during this process, how aggressive do you feel like the Dodgers were in trying to make this work? I know, obviously, you had a desire to play there, being from L.A.
GIANCARLO STANTON: I'm not sure how aggressive they were. Just whatever knowledge you guys have.
Q. I'm interested -- and obviously, Mr. Jeter has his responsibility with the Marlins, but it's realistic. It's a business. They're in a rebuild, and you don't want to stay. I'm interested what it was like. Did you seek his counsel as far as what it was like to play in New York? And what did he say about the teams pursuing you outside of the Marlins?
GIANCARLO STANTON: No, I haven't talked about that with him yet, but that dynamic was I gave the teams I wanted. New York was definitely on top of the list, and we were able to get a deal done.
JASON ZILLO: That will conclude the formal portion of today's press conference. We'll start doing some breakout stuff with the media that's assembled. On behalf of the New York Yankees organization, I'd like to wish everyone here today a happy and healthy holiday season, and for those Yankees fans joining us today and every day, we hope that Giancarlo Stanton brings a little special holiday wish to you. Thank you.