MIAMI -- This city will always feel like home for Giancarlo Stanton, even as he returned to Marlins Park on Tuesday for the first time as a visiting player in the Yankees' 2-1, 12-inning win over the Marlins.Stanton, the Marlins' all-time home run leader and franchise leader in so many power-hitting
MIAMI -- This city will always feel like home for Giancarlo Stanton, even as he returned to Marlins Park on Tuesday for the first time as a visiting player in the Yankees' 2-1, 12-inning win over the Marlins.
Stanton, the Marlins' all-time home run leader and franchise leader in so many power-hitting categories, is getting the chance the next two days to reacquaint himself with the city where he broke into the big leagues as a touted rookie in 2010.
"I'm going to enjoy the experience," Stanton said. "This place was a huge part of my life, and I'm going to enjoy it out there."
Does Stanton miss Miami?
"Yeah, I always miss Miami, even when I go back in the offseason and I go home," the slugger said. "I miss the city. It's cool to be back, cool flying in and driving over the bridge and everything about the city."
Limited recently by left hamstring tightness, Stanton didn't appear fazed by any possible butterflies on Tuesday night, roping a first-inning single off Marlins starter Pablo Lopez shortly after the Marlins Park crowd welcomed him with a standing ovation. After striking out swinging in his second at-bat, Stanton drilled a double off the left-field wall to lead off the fifth.
"I'm sure it'll be quite the welcome back," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "Obviously he was the face of this franchise for a while, so I'm sure there will be a little bit of buzz.
"One thing I give him a lot of credit for is that he's done a great job of managing it through this, all while we've DHed him over the last 10 days or so exclusively. I think he's run well and managed the tightness pretty well. I feel like the last few days, he's started to see some significant improvement."
Time appears to have healed any bad feelings that may have lingered since the Marlins opted to move in another direction and trade Stanton to the Yankees last December for second baseman Starlin Castro and prospects Jose Devers and Jorge Guzman.
"I don't think there are any hard feelings," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "There weren't any bad parts or anything like that."
"Absolutely," he said. "We know what the situation is over there now and how it was, and we understand what they've been through. I'm just happy to be here."
In New York, Stanton is part of a Yankees team positioned to reach the postseason. The Marlins are building from the ground up, and there have been growing pains along the way.
But Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill noted that Devers, an 18-year-old shortstop, and Guzman, a hard-throwing right-hander, have impressed in their first seasons in the organization. Guzman and Devers are the fifth- and 12th-best prospects, respectively, in Miami's farm system, according to MLB Pipeline.
Castro has been Miami's everyday second baseman, and a veteran leader on a youthful squad.
"We couldn't be happier," Hill said of the return for Stanton. "Obviously, it was a large trade and a large contract we removed, but we are very pleased with the return. I said it at the time -- we felt like Starlin Castro could be a very big piece, a nice stabilizer to a young lineup. He's done exactly that."
What shouldn't be lost in the trade is that Stanton had a full no-trade clause, and after he informed the Marlins that he was not interested in being dealt to either the Giants or Cardinals, he signed off on the deal with the Yankees.
The Yankees also took on $265 million of the remaining $295 million on the final 10 years of Stanton's deal.
Beyond the finances, Guzman and Devers are a big part of the Marlins' future.
"Jose Devers and Jorge Guzman, arguably two of the top position players and pitchers in our Minor League system, they haven't disappointed," Hill said. "Devers, at an extremely young age, has done very well. Jorge Guzman has had tremendous growth, although the wins and losses haven't been there. His rates and the metrics of his performance have been tremendous."
Devers was recently promoted from Class A Greensboro to Class A Advanced Jupiter. But the 18-year-old is currently on the disabled list with right shoulder discomfort. He's expected to be ready for the instructional league in September.
Guzman will be added to the 40-man roster in the offseason and is getting closer to being big league ready.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Bryan Hoch contributed reporting.