Yankees newest addition, OF Giancarlo Stanton, is ready to begin his new chapter in New York as he addressed the media for the first time in pinstripes Monday.
Stanton is now officially a part of GM Brian Cashman's "band of merry men," as he put it, and he couldn't be more excited.
"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," Stanton said. "So I'm happy to be here."
Stanton admitted he wanted things to work out in Miami, but it simply didn't go the way he wanted them to.
"This has been quite the experience, qute the road to get here," he said. "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."
After claiming it was an "unprofessional circus" at times in Miami in an Instagram post, Stanton said the team had "no structure" as they went in a new direction "every Spring Training."
Now, his new home is one that Stanton admitted he looked at "from afar" for some time now. The Yankees were the only East Coast team on his four-team list he would waive his no-trade clause to, and their obvious franchise history and recent postseason run showed him all he needed to see in a potential suitor this offseason.
"Just watching 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," Stanton said. "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."
Stanton, who was named the 2017 National League MVP, will join the AL Rookie of the Year in Aaron Judge in a lineup that has very high expectations already. The two met during the Home Run Derby this past season, and Stanton is looking forward to getting to know his new teammate more.
"I've spoken to him there since, a couple days ago, and we're excited," Stanton said. "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."
On both players being right fielders, Stanton added it, "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."
New manager Aaron Boone was just as excited to see Stanton daunting his new jersey as he inherits another powerful bat to his lineup. He beileves adding Stanton to the Yankees shows the positive direction the team continues to move in.
"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."
The Stanton deal, which includes the Yankees taking on $265 million of the $295 million he is owed over the next 10 years, has an opt-out clause in 2020. However, his agent, Joel Wolfe, said Stanton has no intention to opt out, according to MLB.com's Jeff Passan.
Cashman made it clear that the Yankees "got to keep finding ways to improve," meaning the team is not done at the Winter Meetings. For now, his newest addition is ready to make an immediate impact, and bring back a championship to New York.
"The city's been waiting for another World Series and a playoff run, and they got close enough this year," Stanton said. "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."
Stanton was very forthcoming in his answers with the theme being he wants to win, and that he did not want to be a part of a rebuild. Luckily, the Yankees finished up their version of a "rebuild" last season.
Stanton mentioned that he admires the current roster, and believes he can help the Yankees take the next step. There is little doubt that Stanton will boost an already potent lineup, and provides new manager Aaron Boone a variety of ways to write out his card.
Having two of the best right-fielders in the game is a good problem to have, and Stanton proclaimed to be willing to move around if asked in order to give Aaron Judge time in right field as well. Stanton used the word rotation (of corner outfielders), and that he would be fine penciled into the DH spot when needed. This aspect of the lineup construction cannot be understated as it will provide ample rest for each of the players and certainly can include Aaron Hicks getting his off-days with Brett Gardner taking some time in center field.
Stanton is used to a much more laid-back media atmosphere, and he did well in speaking with a very large group today. It remains to be seen how Stanton will react in the clubhouse during the season, but if today is any indication, he should do just fine.