LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Just a few days ago, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that adding at least one starting pitcher was his top priority in advance of the Winter Meetings, which run through Thursday.That sure changed in a hurry.With the Yanks officially announcing a blockbuster trade that
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Just a few days ago, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that adding at least one starting pitcher was his top priority in advance of the Winter Meetings, which run through Thursday.
That sure changed in a hurry.
With the Yanks officially announcing a blockbuster trade that installs reigning National League Most Valuable Player Award winner Giancarlo Stanton into 2018's dangerous lineup, Cashman can enjoy an extra spring in his step when he returns to the place "Where Dreams Come True" for this year's offseason jewel event.
The Winter Meetings run through Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Gathering all 30 general managers and scores of agents together in a single locale, the Meetings are traditionally a cauldron of action for teams looking to make moves.
In terms of seismic impact, no one may top what the Yankees pulled off this weekend, agreeing to acquire the four-time All-Star from the Marlins in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro, right-hander Jorge Guzman and infielder Jose Devers.
With unanimous American League Rookie of the Year Award winner Aaron Judge manning right field, the Yanks had not necessarily been looking to add another power-hitting outfielder, but the price became too good to pass up after Stanton nixed a pair of separate deals that would have sent him to the Cardinals or Giants.
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Stanton informed the Marlins that he would approve trades only to the Astros, Cubs, Dodgers and Yankees. When Cashman presented a scenario in which the Yanks add Stanton while remaining under the $197 million luxury tax threshold, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner authorized the investment in the 28-year-old slugger, who will likely gather his at-bats between right field and designated hitter.
With Stanton trade completed, the Yankees will return to their stated offseason priorities, hoping to add depth to a rotation that will be anchored by Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray. Jordan Montgomery and Chad Green are considered contenders to fill out the back end, and the Yanks have maintained contact with the agent for veteran Carsten Sabathia, now a free agent.
"The Winter Meetings are imminent, and we will be active in the free-agent market," Steinbrenner said last week. "We will leave no stone unturned, and where we think we need improvement, we will invest in it."
The trade market could be a viable avenue to find pitching, as the Yanks could entertain moving outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury or Clint Frazier, both of whom appear to be blocked in New York. Ellsbury is owed $68.3 million and has a full no-trade clause. They would also listen to offers for third baseman Chase Headley, and they need to determine if they are ready to hand second base to top prospect Gleyber Torres.
One week after being formally introduced as the 33rd manager in franchise history, Aaron Boone is set to address the media at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Boone will certainly be asked how he plans to fit Stanton into the lineup among Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Didi Gregorius. At least one of those players would like to know; shortly after news of the trade leaked, Gregorius tweeted to Boone, "Hey Skip, am I still batting fourth?"
The longest-tenured general manager in the sport, Cashman is also in the process of finalizing a five-year, $25 million contract extension, which could be announced during the Winter Meetings. All of those storylines, along with Cashman's daily thoughts, will appear on Yankees.com throughout this week.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.