NL MVP Moves to Bronx, “Japanese Babe Ruth” Picks Los Angeles
By: Eric Ransom
Christmas presents have arrived early for Yankees and Angels fans.
In the biggest move of the baseball offseason, the New York Yankees have acquired National League Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton in a deal with the Miami Marlins.
Coming off a career year, the outfielder will now play in Yankee pinstripes alongside American League Rookie of the Year and near-twin, Aaron Judge.
In 2014, Stanton signed the richest contract in U.S. sports, inking a 13-year, 325 million-dollar extension to his existing contract with the Marlins.
Due to the Miami’s poor play the last few years, and new management buying the team, the Marlins set out to free themselves of the massive contract, aiming to trade their superstar at some point this offseason.
Stanton also had discretion to veto a trade due to the no-trade clause in his contract. After declining a trade to both the Cardinals and Giants, the Yankees quickly jumped at the opportunity once Stanton listed the Yankees as a desired destination.
The Yankees agreed to pay 265 million of the 295 million-dollars left on his contract, as well as trade INF Starlin Castro and two prospects to complete the trade.
One of the new owners of the Marlins is Yankees legend Derek Jeter, who was instrumental in the completing the sale.
Stanton, 28, is coming off a career year with the Marlins, leading Major League Baseball last year with 59 homeruns and 132 RBI, earning him his first MVP award.
Not since Alex Rodriguez in 2004 has a MVP been traded the following year- a player also acquired by the Yankees.
With Aaron Judge’s rookie record of 52 home runs, and catcher Gary Sanchez’s 33 homers, a Yankee’s lineup with Stanton could become the most dominant trio of hitters in baseball.
Now that both Stanton and Judge are paired up, fans are deeming them the new “Murderer’s Row”, which featured Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in 1961. The potential of this new duo may further add to the nickname that is the “Bronx Bombers”.
Not even 24 hours before the trade, baseball received its next superstar in an import from Japan.
In another huge offseason move, The “Japanese Babe Ruth” Shohei Ohtani has chosen to sign with the Los Angeles Angels after playing with Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan.
Ohtani is one of the most unique baseball talents in the world, capable of being both a starting pitcher and outfielder, netting him his nickname.
His coveted ability to both pitch and hit at an elite level drew massive interest by all 30 MLB teams, especially for his age, being only 23.
After carefully hearing pitches from all interested teams, it was up to Ohtani to sign wherever he wanted, eventually choosing the Angels.
Ohtani will join the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, and an Angels team that missed the playoffs last year but will now look to build off of the groundbreaking acquisition.
One of the biggest questions will be how the Angels handle his dual-threat capabilities, whether or not he will focus on only pitching, or attempting to accomplish both pitching and hitting.
His decision to leave Japan at his age was a surprise, as staying in Japan for three more years would have enabled him to earn much more money from MLB clubs under an agreement with the NPB.
Instead, Ohtani chose to join the MLB this year after getting permission to be posted, putting aside a potential bigger payday in the future to showcase his abilities right away.
The American League has certainly been gifted with two new dynamic superstar players in Stanton and Ohtani, and who knows, the two could possibly battle for an AL MVP one day.