In what was a bit of a surprising move, the New York Yankees reportedly acquired Miami Marlins All-Star Giancarlo Stanton in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro and two prospects.
While the trade hasn’t been officially announced yet due to pending physicals, the deal was made possible due to the Yankees willingness to take on $265 million of Stanton’s remaining 10-year, $295 million contract.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were involved with the Marlins in talks, and they were said to be Stanton’s first choice since the Marlins began the process of shopping him.
But with the Dodgers’ desire to get under the luxury tax threshold, the Marlins would have been required to assume more responsibility of Stanton’s contract. That didn’t fit with Miami’s vision, as they valued salary relief over the caliber of players or prospects in return for the reigning National League MVP.
Along with a desire for the Marlins to pay for a significant chunk of Stanton’s salary, the Dodgers looked to unload some combination of Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
Dodgers are said to have asked Marlins to take back some combo of overpriced deals (kaz, mccarthy, a-gon) plus pay significant $. Would have been a 75M plus offset. LA issues: tax plus debt service rule in 2019. So never close to GIancarlo deal.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2017
With the Yankees willing to take on so much of Stanton’s contract in addition to sending back a four-time All-Star that only makes an average of $7.5 million per year in Castro, their offer was not one that the Dodgers could match.
The luxury tax threshold will be $197 million in 2018, and due to the Dodgers being a repeat offender they will pay a 50 percent tax for any amount over the threshold. Their current payroll sits around $180 million, and they have yet to sign arbitration-eligible players or potential free agents.
With the Dodgers already having capable outfielders in Chris Taylor, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles and Kiké Hernandez, Stanton was ultimately viewed by the organization as more of a luxury than necessity.